LVI Form girls enjoyed a stimulating day of advice and debate on women in work from leading career women in a variety of fields at the school’s annual Women in Corporate Culture conference last week.
Representatives from industry, business, law and accountancy, the Civil Service and the media including Dr Linda Ashton, Associate Director of Atkins, Helen Dudley CBE, Director of Civil Service Talent at the Cabinet Office and Radio Times consultant Editor and former broadsheet journalist Hilly Janes talked about their own experiences in the workplace and their thoughts on the future of work for women and how it might change in the coming years.
After a welcome from Dr Wright, morning sessions were moderated by Lynne Copp, Managing Director of The WorkLife Company, who runs workshops for some of the UK’s leading companies, and Angela Foyle, a partner at BDO London.
Topics debated included The World of Work, Getting into Work, The Work Environment and Rising to the Top. Other panellists included Deborah Botwood-Smith, MD and Head of Corporate Communications at Investcorp, Yvonne Spencer, a partner at Veale Wasbrough Vizards solicitors and Patty Dimond, Business Director at Value Retail Plc.
Yvonne Spencer warned girls that ‘the days of having a right to a particular career were long gone’ and girls would do well to ‘emulate some of the behaviours’ of the so-called ‘baby boomer’ generation, now in senior positions in the workplace and used to working hard.
After lunch a number of breakout sessions were held, hosted by each delegate. Girls were able to join the session they thought was most relevant to their own potential future career path, enabling them to ask more detailed questions about each delegate’s own career and experiences.
The day ended with all the girls and delegates coming together for a final informal chat over tea before Dr Wright gave a thank you speech on behalf of St Mary’s Calne.