Stevenage schoolgirls paired with inspirational women in speed-dating style careers event to mark International Women’s Day

Year 9 pupils met female professionals from a range of industries at the Inspirational Women 2016 ev

Year 9 pupils met female professionals from a range of industries at the Inspirational Women 2016 event at The Thomas Alleyne Academy in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Schoolgirls in Stevenage tasked with choosing their GCSE options later this year were given a boost at a careers event on Monday which championed women in industry.

The pupils, all in Year 9 at The Thomas Alleyne Academy, paired up to quiz ‘Inspirational Women’ in a speed-dating style set up at the Old Town campus. Inclusion manager Laura Dowle said: “The idea of this event is to open the young ladies’ eyes to careers they may not have considered.”

The students had 21/2 minutes with each professional – whose careers ranged from solicitors, nurses and police officers to electricians, carpenters and gardeners – to get a feel for the work they do and whether it might be for them.

Pupil Lauren Snook said: “I really enjoyed speaking to the physiotherapist and learning more about her career, which was a surprise to me because I’m interested in cooking and wanted to be a chef.”

One of the women who attended was carpenter Nicola Butcher, who said: “It was a privilege to inspire and encourage the young women of the future and spread the word that the construction industry is not just for men.”


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In its second year, the event marked International Women’s Day at the school, and comes after the ‘Men@Work’ event for the boys back in February.

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