The day’s lessons were replaced with five lecture sessions, and we were joined by 18 speakers, all successful women who are at the forefront of their professions. All 680 students had free choice of which talks to attend in each session, allowing them to follow their interests.
The booklet for the day, with the titles of the talks and biographies of the speakers can be found at the bottom of this article, but to highlight just six of the eighteen speakers, chosen purely to illustrate the range of speakers and the topics they addressed, we heard from: Ama Agbeze, who spoke about her career as an England Netballer, Dr Suzie Imber spoke about adventures in space, Ethel Sibanda addressed the issue of decolonising aid, Yasmina Sabbah (speaking from Dubai) leads an all-female orchestra in the Middle East, Dr Kirsty Lawton shared her experiences of being a doctor on Covid wards, and Anabela Chan spoke about sustainable jewellery design. As you can see, there really was something for everyone.
The aim of Roedean’s festival on International Women’s Day is for the girls to hear from remarkable female role-models, and for them to be inspired, and we received some wonderful feedback from our speaker’s and students.
'It makes me feel happy that the girls are able to experience and understand IWD in this way, very empowering and inspiring for them I am sure. It was a pleasure to connect with them, I enjoyed sharing the story of the Red Dress and answering their fantastic questions.' Kirstie Macleod
'It was such a privilege – their questions were so amazing.' Dr Kirsty Lawton
'I was delighted to give a talk and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience too.' Teresa Waldron
‘I enjoyed learning about different jobs people have and it was helpful to show that women can do anything.’ Kelsie (Yr7)
‘I learnt that women are empowering through what they do every day.’ Hannah (Yr7)