I would like to believe that one day we will finally live in a society where no girl's future is determined by her background, gender or parental income Behind the scenes our Board of Trustees bring a variety of experience and insight from different sectors, to ensure everything we do is the best it can be. Ahead of International Women's Day, we're highlighting the important role of our Trustees, while asking: what does break the bias mean to them? Meet Sue Rimmer OBE, Chair of the Board at The Girls' Network. Here, Sue shares insight into entering education as an adult learner, and the change she wants to see for women and girls. Can you tell us abour your career so far and experience in the working world as a woman? My professional career started in my last 20s, after I took A levels at night school, a degree in sociology and psychology, and a PGCE. The decision to go back into education as an adult not only changed the course of my life, but also the way I viewed the world. It also had a massive impact on the direction my future would take. After my degree, I moved to London to pursue a career as a teacher in further education. Over the course of my teaching career, I taught a very diverse range of young people and adults who lived in some of the city's least advantaged communities. It was both a priviledge and inspiration to have touched so many lives and to have been part of their journey. I have always been a great believer in the importance of equality of opportunity, but I quickly came to realise that this alone was never going to be enough to right the many social injustices I was witnessing. I devoted my career to empowering students to not only acquire the education, skills and qualifications they would need to succeed in life, but to develop the self-belief and resilience they would need to vercome the many additional hurdles they would undoubtedly encounter along the way. As a CEO and principal, my passion remained the same but my work focused more on supporting others to deliver, while developing and implementing strategies and policies that would hopefully have a wider reach. Helping to change lives as a teacher was very rewarding but permanent change also comes from working to change the institutions and systems that perpetuate inequality and injustice. This meant I became involved in a variety of policy, influencing groups locally, regionally and nationally. As a teacher I saw daily the additional hurdles women and girls faced because of their gender and the impact this potentially had on their futures. As a female senior manager, I encountered an fought against the prejudices professional women faced as they attempted to break through the glass ceiling. In my first senior management role I was the only woman on the team. Woman made up the majority of teachers but only a small proportion of senior managers and even fewer CEOs. Over the following decades this began to change as more and more women gained the confidence and opportunity to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices that surrounded them. Can you tell us about your day-to-day as a Trustee at The Girls' Network? The work of a Trustee is to ensure that the charity remains focused on its main purpose, which is to have a real and lasting impact on the lives of the young women we are here to serve. Part of that also means making sure we are using our funds appropriately and that we remain financially sustainable, ensuring we will be here for future generations. On a day-to-day basis, that means attending lots of meetings and scrutinising many papers. However, it's also important to seek out opportunities to remain in touch with the work of the charity. This means, when we can, attending events and meeting mentees, mentors, staff, and our stakeholders and supporters. The latter is much more interesting and inspiring than the former! The charity is also an employer and therefore it is the Trustee's responsibility to ensure that it is a good place to work. Part of this means checking staff are being supported and that they have opportunities for training and development as they engage in the very important work they do. Who has been a mentor to you, and what was the value of that? In my first teaching post I had a mentor from who I learnt so much. She inspired and supported me in many ways. She also introduced me to her network of brilliant women who were working in the local community, and to the organisations they were running and working in. That experience led me, among other things, to design a new 10-week course specifically as a first step back into education for women from the local community had who left school without any qualifications and were facing limited futures. I called the course Moving On; the impact it had on the lives of those women, and me, is one which I will never forget. Small interventions can have a big impact. What do you hope to see change for women and girls in the future? I hope that in the future women and girls are finally free from all forms of misogyny. I would not have believed, when I started my career all those years ago, that misogyny would still exist in our society today and that we would be having to challenge and fight so many things. I would like to belive that one day we will finally live in a society where no girl's future is determined by her background, gender or parental income. And that we will all be free to determine our own futures. Who is an inspiration or mentor to you now? Our Founding Trustee, Hannah Essex, has been a constant source of support and inspiration to me. She is an amazing woman, my touch stone, and I admire her greatly. Since becoming a Trustee, what has been a highlight? A highlight for me is always seeing the young women whose lives have been tranformed by our mentoring programme. It never ceases to inspire me. Each story is different but with common themes running through all of them. Ahead of International Women's Day, what does break the bias mean to you? To me, it means creating a world where everyone is valued and celebrated equally for who they are and the contribution they bring. It means working together towards creating a world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and all forms of discrimination. A world where we all care for each other and are free to be who we want to be. Check back soon for another Q&A with a member of our Board. To get involved in our International Women's Day campaign, find out all about it here.