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Young women in Solent inspired by local business women

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Young women from two schools in the Solent found inspiration from successful business women from the region at an event hosted by Southern Co-op, KPMG, Southampton Solent University and Business in the Community on International Women’s Day 2018 [March 8].

The women shared their business experience and career journeys with 30 girls from Cantell School and Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, working with them to help the young women prepare for their own future careers.

Jessica Hughes, Community Investment Manager at Southern Co-op said: “The aim of the event is to inspire them, motivating and encouraging them that success in business as a woman is possible, and giving them an understanding of how their academic studies will support them in a practical way in the world of work. We are looking to highlight a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines they may wish to work in, some of which they may not have considered as a woman.”

Other business women attending included Paula Claisse, Partner at KPMG, Sarah Bradbury from Gresham Technologies, Aly Taylor, HR Director from Taylor Made Computer Solutions and Gillian Saieva, Head of Business, Finance and Accountancy at Southampton Solent University.

The day included a speed networking session for pupils to ask the professionals how they built up their careers and a skills session to help the girls identify and reflect on the skills they already have that employers are looking for, as well as building their confidence.

The event was coordinated by Southern Co-op through the Business in the Community (BITC) Business Class partnership with the schools. BITC’s education campaign’s purpose is to ensure every business plays its part in supporting young people, particularly those facing social disadvantage, to achieve in education and to build a successful working life, thriving in business. The Business Class partnership programme allows for schools to identify their priorities for improvement and, supported by BITC, work with a business to achieve shared goals creating long term partnerships of three or more years.

The event took place on Thursday 8th March from 1pm-3pm at the Spark Building at Southampton Solent University.