To support this year’s International Women’s day, we hosted an event to highlight the different ways in which learning can transform the lives of women.

The day opened with an interactive panel show which featured a Q&A as well as talks by Finn Mackay (Author and Founder of London Feminist Network), Zoe Bennett (Motivational Queen, Founder of Training Personified), Zaheda Vaid (Muslim Women’s Network), Ros Forsey (Director, NG she), Neena Chauhaun (Talk English Co-ordinator at Fircroft College) and Fircroft’s own Principal and CEO Melanie Lenehan.

The audience nodded and voiced words of quiet agreement as the panel members spoke about the challenges faced by women today. From the disparity of the pay gap between men and women to the problems facing women from minority communities, the often personal anecdotes of the panel speakers offered a telling insight into the everyday lives of women everywhere.

The afternoon sessions saw the presentation of certificates to some of our Talk English students. Many of whom have worked tirelessly and with great determination to improve their levels of reading, writing and comprehension. The smiles of the women as they accepted their awards were testament to the importance of the Talk English project. Many of the women were supported by friends and family members, proudly taking photos of their loved ones as they had their well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

Attendees were given a choice of workshops to attend for the remainder of the afternoon. Zoe Bennett delivered an inspirational workshop on Networking, offering helpful hints and tips on how to get the most from networking events and how to exude confidence. Finn Mackay’s workshop titled ‘Working in the women’s sector – Feminism in action!’ had the audience thoroughly engaged with the UWE Lecturers delivery. Zaheda Vaid led a workshop on ‘What empowers a woman?’ encouraging attendees to ask questions, dispel stereotypes and highlight myths surrounding women, particularly those from ethnic minority communities. Meanwhile, Ros Forsey led a thought provoking workshop on the topic of male violence against women, highlighting the important work done by the NG:she organisation.


Feedback from the women attendees on the day was extremely positive. Many commented on the great atmosphere, interesting topics and of course the fabulous venue! The most used descriptive word for the day was ‘inspirational’, and we could not agree more.

Special thanks to our guest speakers and all those who attended and supported the event.