Aiming high for women

Deborah Terras, of The Washington Group, who has organised the International Women's Day Festival;
Deborah Terras, of The Washington Group, who has organised the International Women's Day Festival;
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Helping young women be inspired and empowered is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day event on the Fylde coast.

For the first time, the event is taking the form of a festival, at Blackpool Sixth Form College, on March 9. The achievements of Fylde coast women will be celebrated, focussing on social enterprise, well-being, sport, aspiration and innovation. More than 350 local businesses and 30 role models are supporting the event, hoping to spur more than 400 young women from the area’s high schools on to success. There will be interactive workshops, special effects make-up taster classes and money management sessions and more.

Billed as a music festival-style event – with six fields, workshops, music and chill-out zone – it is supported by Kelly Massey, Team GB Olympic champion, as well as business women, including Jane Cole of Blackpool Transport, Helen Broughton of Danbro, and Kate Shane, of Merlin Entertainments.

Organiser Deborah Terras, director of The Washington Group, said: “Young women, while gaining better GCSEs, are sadly still not reaching the same levels as young men in the work world. Local businesses and organisations can play a huge part in helping young women unlock their potential and unleash their opportunity to succeed.

“It’s great for businesses – to develop community engagement, enjoy positive encounters with future employees and clients, while supporting opportunities for young people in education, enterprise and employment.”

Jill Gray, principle of The Blackpool Sixth Form College, said: “This event will provide a valuable platform to raise awareness of gender equality, while celebrating the inspirational achievements of women. We believe it will contribute to the work we do with students and staff to reinforce our core values – especially respect, inclusion, global citizenship and high aspirations.”