Woldingham hosted a ‘Dads4Daughters’ breakfast event this week, chaired by Lower Sixth student Anastasia Lewis.
This annual event is part of an international campaign, aligned to the UN’s HeForShe mission. It is designed to spark discussion and debate around issues facing women in the workplace, to encourage parents to champion greater gender equality at work and to inspire the Lower Sixth as they start to think about their own career aspirations.
Guest speaker, Suki Thompson, is CEO and one of the Founding Partners of Oystercatchers, a leading marketing consultancy, and EXCO Centaur Media. Suki has been the Chair of the Marketing Society, a long-standing member of WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London) and is on The Board of Trustees for Macmillan Cancer Support and Touraid. She is a regular contributor to the national and marketing press and speaker at industry conferences. In 2012 Suki was made a Freeman of the City of London and given an honorary Doctorate by Coventry University for her services to international business.
The panel also included experts from a range of leading companies including Virgin, Pret A Manger and British Airways.
Suki Thompson told the audience that of the people in leadership roles mentioned in Campaign's A List last year only 19% were female, but that for this generation of women approaching the workplace this was changing for the better:
‘You are the generation that can make a difference.’
Understanding your skills and attributes, being prepared to learn and being brave were common themes throughout the debate. The students learnt the value of ‘squiggly careers’ and were urged to be themselves in whatever field they chose to work.
Headmistress, Mrs Alex Hutchinson, commented: ‘The days of linear careers are gone. Our students will face the 21st century workplace knowing that the breadth of their skills and experiences all matter. Thank you to our wonderful panel of experts who gave the girls such valuable and candid advice – it will be an excellent platform for our students as they look to the future.’