The Visible Women Campaign aims to create a world where women and girls can find role models and mentors in the careers they are interested in working in regardless of their gender and the stigma attached to male dominated industries.
It does this by raising aspirations; promoting mentoring and championing role models. The main strands of the campaign are:
- Inspires: Work with schools and colleges
- Speaks: Quarterly Events Series and Conference
- Connects: Online Social Network and E-mentoring Platform
Schools and FE
We give presentations in assemblies, plan school visits and run career workshops at secondary schools and colleges to inspire the next generation of female pioneers. We provide a platform for young girls to find out about alternative careers and the journey to get there.
In March 2014 to celebrate International Women’s Day and the start of National Careers Week, Visible Women invited 100 school and college students from Tower Hamlets to an event called Aspirations Now which took place in none other than the Houses of Parliament.
We were be joined by female role models from within and outside of Parliament who shared how they beat the odds to get where they are today. This was followed by an exciting speed mentoring session with MPs, representatives from RBS and the National Grid Women’s Networks and a number of other impressive mentors.
The afternoon included a Q&A Panel with
- Rachel Wenstone, Vice President (Higher Education) at National Union of Students (UK)
- Heather Melville, Regional Sales Director at RBS, Corporate Banking Division and Founder and Global Chair of the RBS Focussed Women’s Network
- Susan McDonald, Senior Strategy Analyst, Group & UK/EU Strategy and Chair of Women In National Grid, National Grid
We run inspiring events, conferences and workshops to inspire and encourage young women in their careers and business ideas. It is a chance to hear first-hand from women who are pioneers, determined enthusiasts and relentless in their quest for success and impacting their generation.
Quarterly Events Series
Past events in the series have included:
“Women in Leadership: Why Now. Why Us.” hosted at the Royal Commonwealth Society, included esteemed speakers including Carlene Firmin MBE and Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, Caroline Marsh and played host to over 100 young women who attended the event.
Global Enterprise Week event sponsored by accounting firm Deloitte, entitled: ‘Women In Business: Persistence. Profit. Progress.’ Guest speakers included Ellie Patasios Vice-Chairman and Partner at Deloitte and Head of the Islington Chamber of Commerce Ronke Lawal.
Women In Technology and Finance hosted by Bloomberg and culminated in our International Women’s Day celebration in partnership with Goldsmiths University where we had independent mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita as our keynote speaker.
Online Mentoring Community
VW Connects is our exciting online community. It includes:
- An online directory where users can create online profiles and be searchable by industry, geographic location, job role etc.
- E-Mentoring: Users are matched with mentors/mentees and commit to short-term virtual mentoring programme.
- Social Networking: users will be able to engage in online discussions, live chats and Q&As as well as accessing the latest job opportunities
Find out more at www.vwconnects.com
Face-to-Face Mentoring Programmes
Visible Women have also worked with a number of organisations to deliver face to face mentoring.
With a desire to demystify the stereotypes of the city being male-dominated, VW worked collaboratively with Deloitte to put together the Advance Mentoring Programme, specifically aimed at second year female students, who were paired with a female mentor for a 3-6 month cycle.
Michaela Moran a mentee, on the first cycle of the programme and now a Deloitte Summer Intern shares her experience:
“The Deloitte Advance Mentoring Programme as a whole has been an extremely valuable experience, but if I had to highlight a part it would be the great relationship I formed with my mentor and then landing a place on their summer vacation scheme. My mentor and I continue to stay in contact and through numerous emails, meetings and phone calls I have got to know her well… I have gained what I hope to be a long lasting relationship from it.”
Barbara Kasumu was awarded Woman to Watch 2011 by Red Magazine for her work with the campaign and invited to be a columnist for The Telegraph’s new women’s section, “Wonder Women.”
Visible Women was named as ‘Top Tweeter for Equality’ by the Independent and has featured in number of other newspapers and magazines including Cosmopolitan, Red Magazine and Real Business.
Winner, Barbara Kasumu – Women for Africa Awards, 2012
Finalist, Join our core completion – Ben & Jerry’s, 2012
Winner, Barbara Kasumu Women To Watch Award – Red Awards, 2011
Winner, Samuel Kasumu Young Star of Enterprise Awards- Real Business Award, 2011
Samuel Kasumu, Top 3 Role Models in the UK- Britain’s Real Role Model competition, 2011
Winners, Business and Enterprise Award- Spirit of London Awards, 2011
Winners, “Best Collaboration” Partnership award with Deloitte – Race for Opportunities, 2011
Winner, Barbara Kasumu UK Young Activist of the Year –SMK Awards, 2009
Target National Graduate Awards ‘Best Diversity Recruitment’ – IBM, 2009