Hundreds of girls from across the region will be encouraged to ‘be fearless’ and take a leading role in whatever career they choose, at a special conference at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

Organised by Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG), the one-day biennial North East Women (NEW) Leaders Conference on Monday 16 September will bring together teenagers from NHSG, Whitburn Academy, Monkseaton High School, Dukes Secondary School in Blyth and Walbottle Campus.

NHSG is working in partnership with Northumbria University, Newcastle and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to organise the event, which will bring together female leaders from both within and outside of the region to share their knowledge and experience with the aim of challenging gender inequalities and inspiring young women to take a leading role in whatever career or profession they choose.

The NEW Leader Conference theme is ‘Be Fearless. Be You’ #nolimits and in addition to hearing from inspirational women, the young delegates will spend part of the day focusing on what leadership looks like now and in the future, and how they can develop their own personal authentic leadership attributes.

They’ll also attend a series of Power Up Workshops offering tools to boost the girls’ futures, focusing on areas such personal branding, jargon busting and getting the best out of people.

Key note speakers will talk candidly about the challenges and successes they have encountered on their rise through the ranks as well as the many opportunities that are opening up across a range of sectors and in the region.

Speakers include:

Ann Francke, the Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute and an expert on gender balance in the workplace; her book on gender balance is published on 26th September 2019.

Debbie Edwards, the CEO of FDisruptors – a careers platform to help emerging generations to navigate the radical changes in how they will live and work successfully in this age of fast paced innovation.

Sarah Glendinning, the Regional Director CBI who is passionate about raising aspirations in the region’s young people and is involved in a range of diversity initiatives including running a Future Leaders and Women in Leadership Group. As a result, she has been named as a ‘Northern Power Woman’ and in 2018 won an award recognising her as a ‘Women of Influence’.

The student delegates will also form the audience for a lively interview session with a panel of young women who are starting to make their mark on the world, including an entrepreneur and a rap singer.

Talking about the aim of NEW Leaders Michael Tippett, Head at Newcastle High School for Girls, said:

“Our ambition is to create the next generation of female leaders, trailblazers and world shapers.  We want the region’s young women to be fearless, while still being true to themselves and working to their own passions and strengths.  Above all we want them to believe that there are no limits to what they can achieve.

“Working in partnership with Northumbria University and the North East LEP we have through NEW Leaders created an excellent vehicle to boost our ambition and we are delighted to be able to share our work to reach girls from across the region. Further support from Ernst Young, along with the backing of so many leading women who have given up their time to share their expertise, has enabled us to deliver an outstanding NEW Leaders programme.”

Speaking on behalf of Northumbria University, Senior Lecturer Natalia Blagburn said:

“Northumbria University Business School is thrilled to host NEW Leaders conference in partnership with Newcastle High School for Girls. The conference has been designed to inspire, empower and support young women from across regional partner schools. We are keen to spark conversations, create new connections and cultivate passions about building futures.”

The event is supported by the North East LEP.

Michelle Rainbow, Skills Director at the North East LEP, said:

“This event offers a great opportunity for young women to hear first-hand about the career journeys of exceptional, hard-working and brilliantly successful females and I hope they will be encouraged and emboldened by what they learn.

“We want all young people to be ambitious about the career opportunities that await them, no matter what their background or gender. Through our North East Ambition programme, we’re all supporting schools and colleges across the region to offer a range of high-quality careers activities and experiences and achieve the government’s Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks.

“North East Ambition also links schools and employers more closely together, to identify and meet the skills demands of the future and support our aim of driving an uplift of 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.”

Read our exciting NEW Leaders programme here!

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