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College celebrates International Women’s Day 2021


Hugh Baird College celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021, by hosting a weeklong series of events. As part of this students took part in a virtual seminar with three inspirational women from the Maritime sector.

Amanda Willis, HR Director at Peel Ports; Sue Henney, Marketing Director at KVH Industries; and Eleanor Mante, Training Manager at Maersk all engaged students with an insight into their career journeys.

This year IWD was celebrated under the theme #ChooseToChallenge, drawing on the notion that a challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. This was aimed at promoting the idea that we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

Hugh Baird College championed these messages with each of the three speakers touching on inequalities they have experienced during their careers, in a predominantly male driven sector, and how they overcame them.

Eleanor Mante had advice for the students following the event:

Combat bias by being a spokesperson for yourself. Represent yourself how you wish to be known and stay true to who you are. Surround yourself with a positive support base whom you can learn from and talk to about experiences you may face. Lastly, do not dull your shine for anyone’s benefit as you will not only be doing yourself a disservice but you will deny an opportunity for growth within the people who need to learn that a new world exists and we are all active members in that world.

Rachael Hennigan, Principal and Chief Executive at Hugh Baird College spoke of the inspirational seminar said:

It was a pleasure to welcome to the College such an impressive group of female speakers from across the Liverpool City Region specifically within the Maritime Sector. We recognise the importance of International Women’s Day and we support equality for all our students and staff. As an organisation, we believe in ensuring our learners leave us fully prepared to embark in the world of work. Talks from inspirational speakers like Sue, Eleanor and Amanda demonstrate how crucial it is that learners not only develop the skills and attitudes employers look for, but also encourage them to feel comfortable to be themselves in the chosen industries. This resilience and determination will support them to achieve their career goals.

Gemma Wynn, Foundation Degree in Mental Health and Wellbeing student at the Hugh Baird University Centre said of the seminar:

I found the International Women’s Day seminar very interesting and inspiring. It was an eye opener to help me realise and believe I can achieve what I want if I put my mind to it!

Zoe Melling a Foundation Degree in Business and Management student at the University Centre also said:

All three speakers are very inspirational women. They all opened my eyes to the different opportunities available in the maritime sector. Thank you for taking the time and speaking to us all.

Colette Mawdsley, Dean of Higher Education and Access at the Hugh Baird University Centre, commented:

It was a pleasure to celebrate International Women’s Day with Sue, Eleanor and Amanda to hear their inspiring career journeys as women in the Maritime Industry. Thank you for taking the time to speak to the students from across the College and University Centre, sharing your inspirational journeys and bringing home the message to the students that together we can create an inclusive world.

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