Inspiring women at Ark Elvin

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Ark Elvin Academy hosted an event designed to inspire students and help them to think about their futures.

Students at Ark Elvin heard from a panel of ten successful women including British sailor Tracy Edwards MBE, the skipper of the first all-female crew to complete in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, broadcast journalist Almeena Ahmed-Ashraf and Teach First Executive Director Ndidi Okezie under the theme ‘Women who dare for greatness’. The panel was moderated by Ark Elvin’s Head Girl, Olufunke Moronfolu, who excelled in her GCSEs last year with 5A*s and 5As, and plans to study medicine.

Tracy told students that she is planning on using Maiden, the yacht on which she competed, as an ambassador for girls’ rights and to show there are no limits to what women can achieve, “I want my daughter to grow up in a world where men and women work together for equality” said Tracy.

After the panel event, students had the chance to network with the panelists, asking them questions on topics ranging from CV and interview tips to what inspired them in their career choices.

Roshni, Year 11, said “It was really good to find out so much about these women, when you see someone standing in front of you confident, you don’t always realise what they’ve been through to get where they are. The thing I will take away from today is that no matter how many times you fail, keep trying.”

The event was organised in collaboration with The Girls’ Network, a charity which inspires and empowers young women by connecting them with a network of positive female role models and providing an award-winning mentoring programme and events like ‘Women who dare for greatness.’

Annabel Bates, Ark Elvin Principal, says, “I’m delighted that we had such an impressive panel of highly successful women coming to mark International Women’s Day at our school. We encourage our pupils to follow our school motto of magna aude, which means ‘Dare for greatness’, and it is fantastic that they are hearing from women who truly embody this.”

Becca Dean, Girls Network Director and Co-Founder, says, “It is so incredibly important for girls to have exposure to senior women from a variety of sectors; this is a fundamental to what we do at The Girls’ Network. We provide our mentees opportunities to network and meet these great women, alongside our award winning mentoring - that matches girls from the least advantaged communities with a professional female mentor.”