We were very lucky 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 http://www.inspiringthefuture.org 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.