Unlimited Futures For All Young Women

Issue 35

As I list the statistics below, you'd not be alone in thinking that these were released by a government or private teaching institution. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you'd be wrong, as these impressive statistics are the latest figures showing the impact of the mentoring programme organised by The Girls' Network, a charity that started operating in London in 2013 but has spread to many of the inner-cities in other areas of the country. -100% of girls grew their network of professional women - 95% of girls increased in their resilience.- 89% of girls grew in their key communication skills. - 100% of girls reported doing as well as they'd hoped, if not better, on their end of year academic results. So, what is the intention of this charity and where did it originate? Well, two ladies, both secondary school teachers, based in North London noticed that many of the girls in their care often faced multiple barriers in class and decided to help those individuals the best way they could. They realised that many girls were facing several challenges - like pressure to conform to ideals, lack of confidence and self-belief - while experiencing a lack of professional female role models in their networks, they decided to try and make a change to the girls' lives, and change they did! The two teachers; Charly Young and Becca Dean piloted a one-to-one mentoring scheme for 30 girls back in 2013 and, based on research showing that conversations and personal relationships could have a huge impact on challenging stereotypes and expectations, put in place the structure to change the lives of the girls involved, forever. Their vision was that girls would benefit from a greater access to opportunities, but also the confidence to seize those opportunities and skillset to thrive in them. As word spread of this success, more and more professional women asked to get involved and before they knew it, the charity, The Girls' Network was set up, and to say it has grown at an incredible rate would be an understatement. The charity now operates across London, Portsmouth, Brighton, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and the West Midlands, with plans to expand even further over the next few years. The charity now helps empower over 1200 young women each year and that figure is set to multiply over the coming years, with plans in place to grow into every city in the UK. If, like me, you are equally as impressed with these statistics and feel the need to become involved, then there are opportunities for women in business, like me, to support their charity and give something back. I personally felt very inspired at what this great charity is trying to achieve and couldn't wait to become involved, which is why I am now a mentor for them and offer my services in the Newcastle area.

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