On Tuesday 7th March, four year 13 students from Ulidia Integrated College went to the Titanic Belfast’s 4th International Women’s Day conference, Inspire 2017.
International Women’s Day encourages effective action for advancing and recognising women and the 2017 theme, Be Bold For Change, reminds us all that ‘we can collectively help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over’.
The theme for Inspire 2017 was Step Up. The speakers, with backgrounds in finance, business and international justice encouraged students to:
- Step Up and have their voices heard
- Step Up and fight for justice
- Step Up and follow their dreams
- Step Up and take their talents to the next level
- Step Up and be the best they can be
Chloe, Toni, Aimee and Kyna had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers, performers and exhibitors who empowered them to use their talents and abilities for the betterment of everyone.
They also took part in a mentor walk where they had the chance to walk around Titanic Quarter with Stephanie Harvie from Snowglobe Coaching, who is passionate about encouraging young women to reach their potential.
At the end of the conference, our four young women took a pledge to Step Up and Be Bold. The energy and the confidence of the young women in the room was palpable.
This was a fantastic event and we cannot wait for next year’s conference. Until then, here is what our young women have to say about the event.
“The concept that the conference focused on for me, was that we, as the future generation, have the ability to make the impossible possible, regardless of us being women. I truly heard the message Sue Willis spoke about. Through her humour, she enlightened me to believe that my future opportunities do not have to reflect my past deprivation. I now feel more empowered and stronger in my battle to achieve success.” (Chloe)
“Today was an inspiring and interesting day which taught us women to be BOLD. We met some very influential women, from successful business women to artists/singer with their own very individual stories. The day consisted of speeches from the inspiring women, a conference with them, a walk with the mentors, a question and answer session, lunch and a lot of laughs. I found it very eye-opening and encouraging to hear the backgrounds and stories of the influential women; they shared their stories with us on how they have become so successful within their jobs and what journey they went through to reach their goals.
The day has taught me to follow my dreams no matter what path I decide to go down and that there are many jobs which we as young women are not aware of. I felt that I was given the courage and advice to dream big. One of my highlights of today was that our mentors were as interested in our individual stories as much as we were theirs and hearing the experience of different jobs which they had to go through before they reached the point in life that they’re at now is encouraging to me. A quote which has stuck in my head from the day is “if you fear failure, you haven’t failed yet”. This quote has encouraged me to take as many opportunities as possible and not to let fear stop me or get in the way of great things, also it has inspired me to be true to myself and the decisions I make! And lastly what I took from today was to not compromise and stay true to myself, be BOLD! And be ME!” (Aimee)
“A wonderful experience to be inspired by so many women who were just like me in my current age. Providing information on how they got to where they are now in their lives, by making a difference to those around them. I really enjoyed the International Justice Mission, where those who live in poverty can gain the freedom and the justice needed to be delivered to those who are accountable for their crimes. It made me realise that not all poverty is about being poor – it is also about those who are vulnerable in the developing world.” (Kyna)