Inspiring Women in the Telegraph’s Women’s Blog

Inspiring Women in the Telegraph's Women's Blog

The Telegraph talking here about our women’s campaign launch.



We loved our campaign launch – and so did Twitter:

Miriam Gonzalez Launches Inspiring Women

We were very luc3ky to have Miriam González Durántez, partner at Dechert LLP and wife of Nick Clegg, host our campaign launch at Lancaster House on the 17th October. The evening was held to launch the Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women campaign – we aim to see 15,000 women from a range of occupations visit 250,000 young women in state education to talk about the range of jobs and entry routes available.

We kicked the evening off with a speed networking event where young women from state schools across London met with 10 high-profile women to talk about their careers and aspirations.

Our 10 #inspirationalwomen were:

  • Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert LLP
  • Fiona Bruce, BBC journalist and presenter
  • Athene Donald DBE, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge
  • Thea Green, CEO Nails Inc
  • Bettany Hughes, historian and broadcaster
  • Livia Firth, Creative Director Eco Age Ltd
  • Carrie Longton, Mumsnet co-founder
  • Carolyn McCall, CEO easyJet
  • Heather McGregor, entrepreneur and Financial Times columnist
  • Barbara Stocking DBE, former CEO Oxfam and current President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Miriam inspired the young women with her closing words, as did Pinky Liliani and Dame Joan McVittie, who talked about all the future might hold for these young women.
The speed networking was followed by a drinks reception at Lancaster House, where the Deputy Prime Minister introduced Miriam (“I’m not here as the Deputy PM or even as Nick Clegg – I am here as Nick González Durántez”) to talk about why we are launching the campaign. She explained there are “legions of female role models” in everyday: “Every woman can be a role model for the new generations, no matter the path they have chosen in their lives. She explained that the ask is very simple – only one hour a year of your time.

Miriam talked about her experience of state schools and how our young women need to be

supported to find their way – “Through taking women into state schools to talk face-to-face with girls around the country this campaign will help to remove the stereotypes and absurd labels that still surround women. Young girls deserve to feel free to aim high”.

She asked everyone there to sign up to and thanked the schools and the girls for their time and participation. She said she had never felt such positive energy at Lancaster House.

This speech was followed by some from Headteacher Vanessa Ogden then Ruby McGregor Smith CBE, CEO of MITIE – full of inspiration for the campaign. We were delighted to have such an inspirational group there to launch the campaign and look forward to reaching our target of 15,000 by next summer.

Introducing Inspiring Women

Logo in SquareOn Thursday 17th October we launched an Inspiring Women campaign.

We aim to find 15,000 women to volunteer, reaching 250,000 girls in state schools across England.

Inspiring the Future is a free, online, secure service that links up volunteers with state schools across the country. Volunteers simply sign up to volunteer in their local area (where they live and/or where they work) and then teachers invite them in to talk to pupils about their careers:

We are running a women’s campaign to help young women from all backgrounds broaden their horizons and raise aspiration.

For girls and young women, it’s ‘who you know’ that influences career aspirations and choice. They rely on female role models from a range of sectors, positions of responsibility and stages of their life to broaden their horizons and help to combat stereotypes about occupations.

  • By the age of 6, children classify jobs as male and female – by the age of 8, they are limiting aspirations and then by 13 many of them have already ruled out career options that don’t fit with gender stereotypes.
  • Knowing adults in certain professions significantly influences desires to work in those areas; 68% of pupils knew someone who did either their first and/or second choice of jobs.
  • 60% of girls aged 16-17 aspire to stereotypically ‘female’ jobs; this has, in fact, increased from the proportion at age 11-12, where the figure is less than 50%
  • 76% of young people agree they would like to know more about jobs traditionally done by the opposite sex. 66% of girls and 54% of boys said they would be tempted to train for a job normally done by the other sex if there was more information about the kind of work they could do.
  • Role models are cited by girls, young women, and employers as vital in helping to overcome gender divides in occupation choice but 55% of girls aged 11 to 21 agree that there aren’t enough female role models.
  • 75% of women still end up in the five Cs of employment – cleaning, catering, caring, cashiering and clerical

Through our Inspiring Women campaign, we aim to link up women in a range of professions at a range of levels with girls throughout England. By giving women the opportunity to sign up, for free, to a simple online portal, where teachers can invite them to come in and talk to young women about their careers, we hope to be part of a culture change where young women and girls, regardless of socioeconomic background, can have access to the career insights they need.