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Regional festival will inspire young women to challenge and call out inequality

18 February 2021 @TeessideUni

 

A number of organisations are coming together this year to celebrate International Women’s Day with a series of online events designed to inspire and enthuse young women about their career prospects and future ambitions.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, International Women’s Day celebrations will have to take place online this year. A range of organisations have risen to the challenge and joined forces to launch a regional festival, with a diverse programme of virtual events.

Teesside University, Assist Women’s Network, Tees Business, Just Williams and Darlington Building Society are just some of the regional partners who are coming together to stage a series of inspirational talks, sessions and competitions.

International Women’s Day takes place on 8 March and 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.

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

Professor Jane Turner, OBE DL.

In the build up to International Women’s Day, 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 International Women’s Day 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.

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.”