To mark International Women's Day 2023 and our tenth anniversary, The Girls' Network held a celebration event for partners, supporters and mentors. Thanks to our hosts Evelyn Partners who kindly gave us the use of their wonderful auditorium, we were able to gather women from a wide range of professions to celebrate the power of courage and community, and consider how we can create unlimited futures for all girls and young women through the power of connection.

We were thrilled to be joined virtually by Fiona Hill, who as a Foreign Affairs specialist has advised three US Presidents and famously testified in Donald Trump's impeachment hearing in 2019. As a former coal miner’s daughter growing up in County Durham, Fiona has described herself as going “from the coalhouse to the White House” and her career is testament to the power of courage and community in her life. Her recent book “There is nothing for you here: finding opportunity in the 21st Century” explores the vital role that education and mentorship played in her life and the critical importance of resilience. 

Fiona spoke about her time at the White House and how mentoring had prepared her for the challenges involved. She encouraged guests to consider how they can help break down the many barriers to social mobility that exist - both personal and structural.  You can watch a recording of Fiona's talk below. 

Guests also enjoyed a talk from our very own Ambassador Lead, Rabina Khan who spoke of her own experiences of growing up without role models who looked like her. Rabina shared how The Girls' Network Ambassador Programme helps to inspire girls in a similar position to be inspired and supported to reach for their dreams: “Being resilient, reinventing yourself, and connecting to women and girls, who look like you, can inspire a young girl throughout their life.”

We were also joined by Evie and Farheen who have both benefited from our mentoring programme and now belong to our Ambassador Community. The girls spoke insightfully and passionately about their experiences as young people finding their way through school, university and into careers. They shared some useful thoughts around what mentors can do to support young women into careers - practice with workplace conversations, writing cover letters, building confidence and self esteem. As well as what they look for in an employer when job searching - understanding their faith and beliefs, clarity on hours, pay and flexible working options.

Guests also got the opportunity to network with each other and learn about the the many different ways they and their organisations can help support The Girls' Network further. It was a wonderful event and an excellent way to celebrate our tenth anniversary.