Inspirational Women’s Conference 2024

13 March 2024

Expanding on the success of last year’s Inspirational Women’s Conference, a whole week of talks, workshops and presentations delivered by local inspirational female role models began on Monday 4th March to celebrate International Women’s Day.  In conjunction with National Careers Week, Year 9 and Y10 girls were able to choose from events covering a range of different sectors including law, sports, media and construction.

Solicitor and partner in the law firm, DAC Beachcroft, Nicola Fairbairn, opened the week on Monday with her talk about working in the field of law and property.  This was followed by Deputy Head Keeper at Northumberland Zoo, Loren Elliott, who brought along some live reptiles as props!  Zoe Hornby’s brilliant talk about her success as an England Rugby League International concluded the first day of events.

On Tuesday, Angela Carney from Carney Consultancy brought three female colleagues who delivered Pecha Kucha presentations and challenged the students to build their own bridges.  This activity enabled the students to develop their communication and teamworks skills and produce some very creative outcomes!  

Emily Doner, Veterinary Nurse from Riverside Vets, visited on Wednesday and delivered a really engaging talk about her own career journey and the different roles within veterinary care along with some very endearing pictures of her own dog!  During Period 5, all Year 10 students also attended a presentation from Hachette Publishing- a local author and publisher spoke about their career journeys and writing opportunities in the North East.

On Thursday, we welcomed Sarah Greenshields who spoke passionately about a range of different careers in the field of nursing and healthcare followed by Fiona Belgian’s inspirational presentation about her role in social justice law firm, Thompsons Solicitors. 

On our final day, Daisy Naylor and Iliyana Farfarova from the University of Sunderland spoke about journalism and social media in our locality.  In the afternoon, our final speaker, Keeley Edmondson met for coffee with some post-16 prospective law students before talking to Year 9 and Year 10 about her fascinating role as a shipping solicitor working all over the globe.

The conference was a resounding success thanks to the passion and generosity of the guests who were willing to give up their time to share their inspirational stories with us.  One Year 9 student who attended a number of talks shared her experience: “It was really interesting and detailed- I found out lots of information that has made me think about different careers that I didn’t even know about.  I’m even thinking about maybe jobs in health or working with animals in the future.” 


Ponteland High School