The myriad of successes and achievements of women around the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre area are to be celebrated next year at the first-ever Fylde Coast International Women’s Day Festival at Blackpool 6th Form.
The unique event, as part of the global International Women’s Day, will see more than 30 local businesses make crucial connections with 450 young school pupils from across the Fylde Coast area, with the aim of spurring them onto success.
Billed as a music festival-style event, but focussing on social enterprise and innovation, designed to spur on young women, it has already gained the support of Kelly Massey Team GB 4 x 400m Olympic champion and local Fylde Coast woman and Pentathlon GB medallist Dr Nic Rowley as well as local Business women Jane Cole, Blackpool Transport, Helen Broughton, Danbro and Anna Blackburn, Beaverbrooks.
Organiser Deborah Terras, director of the Washington Group, said: “Young women, while gaining better GCSEs, are sadly still not reaching the same levels as young men in the work world.
“We’re addressing lack of self-belief and ambition, lack of opportunity and lack of access to positive role models to break down barriers and unify gender equality across our district to help young women make critical connections that will change their lives and empower them to be what they want to be.”
Deborah adds: “Local businesses and organisations can play a huge part in helping young women in our community to help them unravel their proficiencies, unlock their potential, unleash their opportunity to succeed, whether through delivering a workshop on the day, being a role model, volunteering on the day or sponsoring a local high school.
“It’s a great opportunity for businesses too. They can develop community engagement, enjoy positive encounters with future employees, clients and referral pathways, while at the same time supporting the opportunities for young people in education, enterprise and employment. “
The March 9th event, which has already garnered support from Wyre Council, Fylde Council, Regenda Housing and AMRC and Sheffield University, Careers Enterprise Company, Business in the Community and Dame Julia Cleverdon, will give young women the opportunity to take part in interactive workshops, STEM activities, Fairtrade/Ethical sessions, entrepreneurial events, special effect make- up artist taster classess and money management sessions and much more.
The young women will come away with follow-up actions for positive career progression and after meeting and researching a local role model, will have the opportunity to research, learn and inspire from them.
Jane Cole, Managing Director, said: “Blackpool Transport are very excited to be involved in the International Women Day Festival. Economic growth is happening all around Blackpool and the Fylde at the moment and this is bringing opportunities for local people to aspire to take on more career opportunities. I am the only female in the UK who is the MD of a bus and tram operation and I want to encourage and mentor more women into the Transport Sector. The Fylde Coast has a vibrant and diverse culture and this event will showcase to women and young girls how they can be inspired by the acts of courage and determination of local women who have jobs in different industries.”
Jill Gray, Principle, Blackpool 6th Form, added: “Blackpool Sixth is delighted to be part of the International Women’s Day (IWD) Festival 2019. This event will provide an extremely valuable platform to raise awareness of gender equality, whilst at the same time, celebrating the inspirational achievements of women around the world. We believe that the festival will contribute strongly to the work we do with our students and staff to reinforce our core values, especially the values of respect, inclusion, global citizenship and excellence and high aspirations.”