Highlights from our Girls Empowerment Conference 2018

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Stepping into the impressive venue of Bishopsgate London, home of our host NatWest, the girls were instantly struck by the scale and energy of the day ahead. Students came together for a day of encouragement, support and insight, which ignited a confidence that they could achieve anything they wanted to. The impressive and energetic range of speakers gave honest and open accounts of their own personal journeys, encouraging the girls to believe they could achieve their own goals too. Each story demonstrated the hardships and challenges that every Speaker had overcome, to create a life and work ethic to be celebrated and proud of. The various Q&A sessions, hosted by the talented and upbeat Remel London, encouraged enthusiasm and energy from the girls present. There was an atmosphere of positivity that their futures can be exciting, that the girls can make their own decisions and act on their goals and dreams, and that anything is possible with the right attitude and effort. Jessica Huie MBE encouraged the girls to design a life that they would love, that every girl had the power to dictate and choose their own path and their own happiness. Hannilee Fish gave a brave and honest account of her journey, and gave the positive approach of The Fish Way: 1) Focus on now; 2) I have a choice; 3) Set boundaries; and 4) Hold a vision. The Corporate Panel gave an interesting perspective, comparing their outlook now to when they were 14 years old. They spoke with one voice, telling the girls to be confident about their decisions, not feel obliged to copy others, to set themselves goals and reward themselves for their achievements. A short film, introduced by our NatWest host Nick Howe, created a wave of impact for everyone present. In the film, people had to choose one of two doors to walk through, to gain access into a building. One was signposted “Beautiful”, the other was signposted “Average”. Which door would you go through? Ilana Taub sparked interest by explaining the creation of her business through her instinct to find a solution to food waste. She explained the determination and effort needed to create a business that she is proud of. Najwa Jawahar championed the idea of being able to create a legacy, and something for future generations to benefit from. Najwa created a hands-on engineering exercise for the girls, proving how the starting point of a simple sketch or idea can become something amazing. This incredible conference was brought to a close by the enchanting words of the poet Sophia Thakur. Silence swept through the room as her words resonated with everyone present, creating connection and inspiration to all.

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