Inspiring women meet Hackney schoolgirls to share their journeys

Spurs footballer Renee Hector speaks to the young Hackney girls. Pic: Hackney Council/Sean Pollock

Over 80 schoolgirls from the borough were invited by the council to meet successful local women to mark International Women’s Day (IWD).

Girls from six Hackney schools attended the event on Tuesday, March 6 at Hackney Forest Road Youth Hub to speak to inspirational Hackney locals. The meeting was organised by Hackney Council, inspired by IWD’s theme ‘Press For Progress’.

26 women from various career paths such as professional football, politics and firefighting gave up their valuable time to speak to the schoolgirls to inspire and give practical advice for the working world.

Lavinia Sacker, a Year 10 student from Clapton Girls Academy, said: “The whole of the day was very inspirational, I especially liked the advice and tips and I think all of the speakers really motivated us to go for our dreams.”

During the evening, Deputy Mayor of Hackney Anntionette Bramble, Tottenham Hotspur footballer Renee Hector, firefighter Victoria Archer-Lee and Emergency Medicine Doctor Ronx Ikharia spoke about their experiences in getting to the top as a woman at a panel for the children.

Archer Lee would like to see more girls in the emergency services as only 7% of firefighters in the city are women. “Though I am always in the minority, it never stopped me, at the London Fire Brigade we always work as a team, it doesn’t matter about your gender,” she said.

“As long as you are a good communicator and empathetic, our job is about helping people and we always work together to do that.”

Firefighters at Hackney Forest Road Youth Hub. Pic: Hackney Council/Sean Pollock

Hackney Council’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Anntionette Bramble at the event said: “It was fantastic to see so many of Hackney’s successful women giving up their time and sharing their expertise to inspire the next generation.

“The event demonstrated that although traditional paths to success, such as through college and university, can be hugely productive, there are many other ways to reach a dream career.”

Hackney Council are celebrating IWD and the centenary of the beginning of women’s suffrage by nominating 100 inspirational Hackney females over the year.

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