Bishop’s Stortford College – International Day of the Girl 2014
07 Nov 2014
Pupils from Bishop’s Stortford College Prep School, along with Mrs Sharman and Mrs Beckley, went to the Southbank Centre in London to celebrate International Day of the Girl. It was part of the Southbank Centre’s year-round WOW (Women of the World) programme, which will culminate in the WOW Festival in March.
The day began with an all-female takeover of the London Eye, with 180 girls in total, for speed mentoring with a wide range of inspirational women. Each pupil went armed with a problem or challenge of their own to discuss relating to education and careers; the mentors helped pupils explore their issues by identifying options and worked on developing confidence as they considered solutions.
Prep School pupil Milly Buckingham says, ‘my day at the International Day of the Girl was a fantastic experience and it was definitely worth going. At first I was a bit apprehensive as I was not sure whether I would be able to fill the time speaking to my mentors. However, the three ladies I spoke to were bubbling with answers to my questions. It was also very exciting as we had a live news reporter in our London Eye pod!
I think that the most inspirational person I spoke to was Gemma Smith who ran her own business as a private health and care adviser. At the moment I am very interested in science, especially chemistry and biology, and looking towards studying to become a doctor. So, it was very interesting hearing Gemma Smith discuss her job with me.
She replied to all my questions to the full. She explained to me about charity work and medical universities as I am fascinated by science, as I mentioned earlier, also she discussed with me extra-curricular subjects such as music, sports and drama. Having done many interviews herself, she explained to me about what people look for when interviewing for a job. Telling me that I will most likely be turned down in some interviews, but to make it a lesson in my career path and not an obstacle.
I have taken away a lot from this trip, including a sturdier path towards my future, and more knowledge and confidence about gender equality, such as not letting other’s push me about because of my gender. I would most definitely go again and recommend it to any girls and I would recommend some of the other events at the Southbank Centre to boys too!’
After the mentoring process, pupils returned to the Royal Festival Hall. Jude Kelly OBE, artistic director at the Southbank Centre, began a small series of speeches before the girls were involved in creative and practical workshops; they were asked to stand up, be heard and to share their views positively with another. Everyone left feeling excited about the power and potential of girls.