MEPC has brought together organisations based at Wellington Place to host their annual Women of the Future event
The event, delivered by Ahead Partnership, aimed to inspire female students, highlight career prospects, build their confidence, and teach valuable life skills.
Held to mark International Women’s Day, Wellington Place welcomed 48 year-nine female students from nearby secondary schools: Temple Moor High School, Roundhay High School, Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School and Dixons Unity Academy. The young women took part in interactive workshops and self-reflection tasks, designed to motivate them to consider and better understand their own skills, as well as the various career opportunities available to them.
The Women of the Future event involved working with female mentors in a variety of roles, from apprentices to CEOs, at businesses based at Wellington Place. Volunteers came from organisations spanning sectors such as finance, government, healthcare and tech, and included Brewin Dolphin, HMRC, NHS Digital, Savills, Squire Patton Boggs and the Department for Transport. The women shared their career experiences, networked with the students and engaged with them during the activities led by Ahead Partnership.
To finish the day, students were taken on office tours of some of the businesses based at Wellington Place, so they could experience first-hand what a modern-day workplace is like and get an understanding of the types of sectors and job roles available to them within the city.
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with all students who took part saying it had increased their understanding of how to get into different careers or jobs, helped them to think about their goals for life after school and had developed their speaking and listening skills.
One year nine student said: “I really enjoyed this activity because I got to speak to people with real life experience and have a deeper look into different workplace environments here in Leeds. It has really helped improve my self-confidence, motivated me to work harder to achieve my goals and given me a better understanding of different types of careers.”
Sarah Atkins, head of year nine at Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School, said: “Women of the Future has given all of the young women taking part a safe space to meet new people, build confidence and communications skills, and be inspired and learn from some brilliant professional women. It’s an experience they won’t forget.”
Volunteer, Naomi Milne, senior associate in the real estate team at Squire Patton Boggs, based at 6 Wellington Place, added: “Inspiration and insight goes a long way and all the pupils have taken plenty of both away with them from this hugely worthwhile event. We’re proud to be a part of Women of the Future and to support young people around the world of work.”
Dominique Murray, marketing manager and head of customer experience at MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind Wellington Place, said: “It can be daunting for young people thinking about their next step after school and, as a major employment hub close to several schools, we’re passionate about inspiring the next generation and supporting them on their individual journeys. This is why we couldn’t be prouder to play our part in helping young women from the city through our annual Women of the Future event.
“We’re especially pleased that we have so many inspirational and enthusiastic mentors from the organisations based here at Wellington Place. It’s great to see our community come together to create such a unique event which helps to inspire and enhance the lives of young women in the city.
“The insights the volunteers share into their job roles and careers is invaluable and the feedback from both volunteers and students has been fantastic, with everyone saying they got a lot out of the day. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Ahead Partnership to explore how we can further use our platform to support young people from all backgrounds and create opportunities for even more people across the city.”
Megan Lipp, head of development at Ahead Partnership, added: “It was fantastic to celebrate International Women’s Day by delivering our Women of the Future event again this year.
“This activity forms part of MEPC’s wider long-term approach to developing skills in the local area around Wellington Place. Through our continuing partnership, we are working with a specific set of inner-city schools in the four corners of Leeds to make a genuine, positive social impact over a number of years. This programme provides various ‘touch-points’ with students, sharing valuable career information and developing their understanding of the diverse employment options available in their local area.
“The Women of the Future event in particular provided opportunities for young women, who are still under-represented across a number of sectors, to meet with female role models already succeeding in different types of careers. This enables students to see the opportunities available to them in terms of developing a rewarding career here in Leeds, as well as providing first-hand experience of what it would be like to work at an inspiring location like Wellington Place.”