Futurescape ’17: Sheffield Girls’ learn how to be the generation that makes the difference

Year 10 pupils at Sheffield Girls’ were challenged to spend a day thinking about how they could be the generation that makes the difference as part of the Futurescape 2017 conference on careers, which took place at the school this week.

The 14 and 15 year old pupils took part in the event which was designed to help them explore the wider world of work, to identify areas of interest and pinpoint personal skills that they may want to develop when thinking about possible careers. They were inspired by a variety of speakers, who have forged their careers in a diverse range of sectors from engineering and social media to sport and film making.

Leader of the Women’s Equality party, Sophie Walker, who stood for the Shipley seat in the most recent general election, opened a day of discussion. She answered the question ‘How can I be brave?’ sharing her experiences as a former Reuters journalist, as a busy working mother and now leader of a political party. She encouraged the girls to ‘be their best selves’ and think carefully about the future, inspiring them to develop the skills and resilience necessary to successfully pursue a career in any field that interests them.

The girls also took part in smaller workshops about different career options. Amongst the line up were five former pupils who returned to Sheffield Girls’ to share their experiences and wisdom: Rebecca Hopkins, Founder and Director of beauty company Balance Me; Rebecca Sutton, Executive at Grant Thornton; Singer-songwriter and Band Manager Helen Boulding; Filmmaker Mathy Selvakumaran and Olivia Noble, currently on a tennis scholarship in the US, joined a line-up of 12 inspirational women.

The afternoon session was delivered by Grace Barrett from the Self Esteem Team, billed the Charlie’s Angels of Mental Health who spoke to the girls about exam stress and how to deal with anxiety. She shared with them tips and ideas about how to remain positive.

The event was organised by Cathy Walker, Director of Sixth Form at Sheffield Girls’, Cathy said:

“It is really important for us to regularly show our pupils that they can achieve anything they put their minds to. We thought, what better way to do that than to bring together a group of inspirational women who are well-qualified, experienced, experts in their area to speak to our girls about their individual career paths.”

Speaking about the day, Year 10 pupil Ava said:

“This event has really helped me think about how to build my confidence. I could really relate to what everyone was saying and it was great to pick up so many tips that we can actually use. I loved the workshops and hearing from the entrepreneurs about how they have built up their businesses. It has been such an inspiring day.”