Women in Politics Conference

29 January 2021

Today will go down in history as a very special day for OHS, as our Year 13 Politics students successfully host their virtual ‘Women in Politics Conference’: an initiative the girls imagined, organised and ran entirely under their own steam.

With an exceptional line-up of speakers, including three local MPs, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Chairman of the Conservative Women’s Organisation, the event spotlighted five women who have built successful careers in politics, a sphere in which, as we know, women are still sadly underrepresented.

Following the success of our Economy Vs Environment Conference last November, we once again extended the invitation to our fellow GDST schools, as well as a number of local state schools. The reception was wonderful; we were joined by 25 other schools in total, dialling in from across the country to hear what our speakers had to say and to put forward their own questions and thoughts.

Earlier this week, we caught up with the key organisers behind the event, Tessa, Cailtin, Ella and Delphi (all Year 13), to get a better understanding of what motivated them to establish the conference.

“We started this process because we wanted to know more about what it was like to work as a woman in politics. We knew there would be challenges but we felt it would be a great opportunity to push us out of our comfort zones to find out more. We emailed various political figures inviting them to our conference, and after a lot of chasing up and organising, we confirmed five very interesting speakers from across the political spectrum. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it was definitely rewarding and worth the hard work we put in – we think our efforts have really paid off. We were hoping to create a conference that could inspire young politicians like ourselves. We felt that this would help to improve our confidence as young women to see how successful our guest speakers had been in their political careers. This experience has allowed us to develop confidence in networking skills, and to be ambitious when working towards our goals. We have also learnt a lot in respect of organising events and the hard work that it entails. We are thankful to all the politicians who have agreed to speak and to our teachers for organising and giving us this opportunity.”

Congratulations to our Year 13 Politics students for organising such an interesting conference, made all the more impressive in light of the current restrictions. On behalf of everyone in attendance today, thank you!

We would also like to thank our speakers: Fleur Butler, Anneliese Dodds, Victoria Prentis, Baroness Scotland and Layla Moran. Each and every one of your talks was insightful and engaging, providing plenty of food for thought for young politics students across the country. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to join us today.

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