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NewVIc students feel empowered by Michelle Obama and female business leaders

Since October, NewVIc has been working with the National Literacy Trust to deliver ‘Words for Work: Women in Leadership’ - a programme which aims to engage and empower our future female leaders.

Since October, NewVIc has been working with the National Literacy Trust to deliver ‘Words for Work: Women in Leadership’ - a programme which aims to engage and empower our future female leaders.

Earlier this week, the programme culminated in a fantastic ‘Women in Leadership’ panel event, which was attended by over 200 female students from across East London.

Students heard from inspirational female leaders and learnt about their journeys to success, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. 

The panellists of professionals included:

  • Laura Bates – Everyday Sexism Project
  • Marie Scott – CMS Law
  • Thanyia Moore – Comedian
  • Kavita Hansla – National Literacy Trust
  • Elizabeth Yentumi – Ministry of Justice
  • Emilie Marsh – Lancôme              
  • Sanisha Wynter – National Student Union
  • Kathleen O’Malley – Network Rail

Later that day, seven NewVIc students were invited to the sold out event ’Becoming’ - An Evening with Michelle Obama’ at the Royal Festival Hall, to discuss her new memoir.  Michelle chatted with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about everything from her childhood spent in the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive, motherhood and her time as a resident in the White House.

Hear our students comment on the event on BBC radio

(Listen at 39.00)

 

Michelle Obama stands for race equality and gender equality. She just wants to make this world a better place and she believes in us young girls, that we have the power to make this change, and that’s why she particularly addressed us because we are the younger generation. As she says, she is laying the foundations for us to become the future leaders
What I got from that was the feeling of empowerment and I think that’s enough for me to strive forward. I realise now that my fear of rejection and failure is something I’m emphasising too much and I shouldn't.
It actually made me realise that behind every woman, every leader, there is a story to tell.

NewVIc A Level students

 

The students were a credit to themselves and to NewVIc. The inclusive environment from the minute you walk in the door is hugely evident. They listened incredibly to the panel and asked such insightful questions. It was wonderful to see them rushing to take a copy of Michelle Obama’s autobiography at the end of the event.

Fiona Evans
National Literacy Trust, Head of School Programmes

 

The ‘Words for Work: Women in Leadership’ programme, focuses on challenging stereotypes and raising aspirations of students by developing their literacy, communication, leadership skills and preparing them for the workplace by learning how these skills can be used to overcome the barriers women face in their careers.

During the first phase of the programme in October, a group of NewVIc students were invited to Lancôme for an immersion day. It was an incredible opportunity for young female students to network in the corporate world.  Students saw first-hand how women are valued and developed in a hugely successful international company.

 

The motivational women that led the programme gave a tour of the company's offices, encouraged the students to reflect on their own aspirations and dreams and gave them the chance to ask both pertinent and personal questions. The day gave our young female students a deeper understanding of the world of work and left them feeling that there are no limitations to what they can achieve and how high they can aim. The warm and supportive vibe also left us as female staff members full of confidence and enthusiasm to do the same

Jodie Fink
A Level Tutor

The programme has been a huge success seeing so many strong young women, from all different kinds of backgrounds, develop their literacy skills and have the courage to challenge stereotypes by aspiring to go into leadership roles.