Inspiring young women to challenge and call out inequality

IWD International Women’s Day

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, Teesside University and other regional partners are coming together to stage a series of inspirational talks, sessions and competitions. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic celebrations are taking place online as a regional festival, with a diverse programme of virtual events. This is designed to inspire and enthuse young women about their career prospects and future ambitions.

Teesside University is collaborating with, Assist Women’s Network, Tees Business, Just Williams and Darlington Building Society.

International Women’s Day on 8 March is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme for this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’ with the aim of calling out gender bias and inequality and creating an inclusive world by challenging what we see and celebrating the achievements of women.

The festival approach will include pre-recorded sessions featuring International Women’s Day Ambassadors, as well as live panel discussions on different themes, with an opportunity to shape the conversation and submit questions in advance.

The festival will also launch a #ChoosetoChallenge competition, inviting schools and individuals to share their goals and challenges through a creative medium– such as poems, videos, pictures, stories and posters. A panel comprising winners of the Tees Businesswomen Awards will pick the winners and offer prizes, which could range from work experience opportunities to a future workshop in the winning school.

A ‘Wall of Fame’ is also being created which will see inspirational women from the region contributing photos, quotes and videos explaining what success means, what challenges they have faced and how they overcame them.

The event will also be used to re-energise the Power of Women (POW) campaign, which started last year but was put on hold because of the impact of Coronavirus.

Led by Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) at Teesside University, the Power of Women campaign aims to lift the aspirations and ambitions of among young females in the North.

The aim is to build a dedicated interactive POW website, accessible by all schools in the region, providing content that helps girls address a whole host of issues whilst giving a voice and platform for them.    


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Professor Turner said: “Although things are a little bit different this year, we are proud of how the region has come together to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“It is so important for girls, especially in our region, to meet and engage with positive role models and have people they can look up to and identify with as they start to think about their future careers and ambitions.

“We have some fantastic women in this region who are doing amazing things and I am proud that we are all able to come together in this way to mark such an important event.”

You can find out more about International Women’s Day here.

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