More than 90 girls aged 12 to 13 took part in a ‘Young Women’s Enterprise Conference’ at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton last month (November 21).
The inaugural event was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, and saw girls from nine Sussex secondary schools take part.
The idea was to provide students with a greater understanding of the career opportunities available for women and girls and appropriate steps they can make to prepare for their future careers.
And now it’s likely to be an annual event, forming part of the national Premier League Inspires programme, delivered locally by Albion in the Community (AITC), the official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (BHAFC) and backed by American Express.
The day included speeches from three successful businesswomen, who talked about their personal career journeys and how they progressed into their current roles:
- Lucy Fenwick – Vice President of European Customer Engagement at American Express
- Christine Olson – Vice President of Global Business Integration at American Express
- Rose Read – Head of People and Culture at Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
A key element of the day was the Enterprise Group Challenge, working in teams students were tasked with creating an app that can be used to support young people within or outside of the school environment.
Teams then gave a short presentation to explain the content and benefits of their app to a judging panel.
Other activities included a carousel speed-networking activity where students were given the opportunity to meet female business mentors from American Express and other local businesses, to chat about their careers and motivations.
Lucy Fenwick, Vice President at American Express, said: “The programme aims to give the girls an insight into the world of business and enterprise and inspire them at a young age about potential career opportunities. It’s great to see how engaged and enthusiastic the students have been today and to help answer their questions about what doors are open to them in the future.”
Frazer Simpkins, Curriculum Development Officer, AITC, said: “Next year the students will be making decisions about which subjects they’ll be taking at GCSE. As part of the conference we’re encouraging them to think ahead about what their future career might look like and give them the confidence to aspire to career opportunities they might not have thought would be attainable to them.”
Schools which took part in the day were: Longhill High School; Patcham High School; Bohunt Worthing; Davison CE High School for Girls, Worthing; Durrington High School, Worthing; The Academy Selsey, Chichester; The Burgess Hill Academy; Warden Park Academy, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath; and Battle Abbey School.