Date: 28th November 2019
Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside
Yesterday Curtins brought together 100 schoolgirls, from eight Merseyside schools, to hear seven women share their experiences working in male-dominated environments.
With contributions from Everton FC, EY, Brabners LLP and Curtins, the key messages were clear: You have choices, you have opportunities and you are enough.
Each company involved has an impressive track record of contributing to events in their communities that empower young women and promote social values. Collaborating on this event was something that resonated with the values of each organisation.
Commonwealth boxing champion, radio DJ and #PavetheWay founder Stacey Copeland hosted the event. She shared her experience of growing up in a sporting world when the female competition was illegal. Stacey’s passion and drive shine through in abundance, and she now tours the country delivering talks at schools to ensure attitudes to gender balance continue to change for the better.
Curtins Structural Engineer Niamh McCloskey spoke of her journey to engineering as a career choice, and the barriers she faced along the way. Niamh shared her view on the importance of role models; both looking for them, and the responsibility of being one.
Our speakers from Everton FC were Alison Haynes and Rachael Lomax. Alison is the Director of Tax at the football club and has had a long, varied and successful career in accountancy and taxation. She recalled several decades’ experience of encountering glass ceilings and the impact that had. She reminded the girls in the room how far things have come, highlighting their fortunate position having increased access to choice. Alison implored them not to waste that choice, and to pursue what is right for them.
Rachael gave a poignant speech about her journey to Everton FC where she is now the club’s Access Advisor. Rachael began her career as a Clinical Psychologist before a traumatic event led to her questioning whether that was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. She went back to basics, worked out what sparked joy and realised she had to pursue her passion for helping people. Rachael spoke fervently about her current role and the impact she has on fans visiting Goodison, giving the students insight into a different side of football.
Michelle Mullany from EY talked about her experience working for a financial consultancy and having no direct role in finance herself. As a Business Development Manager, she encouraged the students to look beyond the obvious business roles and to have the confidence to pursue a job based on the skills they can bring to the role, not only the experience required. Michelle also recapped alternative routes to jobs beyond traditional degree access.
Brabners LLP is a law practice with nearly 100 years of history, but with a firm view on the future. Their contributors to the event were Joanne Radcliffe and Siu Yin Ho. Joanne focused on her experience overcoming challenges and succeeding in business as someone from an underprivileged background. She implored the girls to reject labels and instead create their own narrative and personal brand, suggesting that the skills they are picking up now can be applied to their future careers. Siu shared her journey into law; how she overcame various barriers to embark on a successful career in the legal profession as someone from a BAME background.
The day was one of positivity, encouragement and inspiration where each speaker brought a spark of something new, whilst echoing themes from others.
We hope that each student took something away with them. They may not recognise what resonated for a week, a year or even a decade after, but seeing what could be – through the eyes of some of the finest role models in industry – is a powerful message that Curtins were delighted to be able to deliver through this fantastic event.