Wellington Place inspires the Women of the Future

Young women from across Leeds took part in speed networking, interactive workshops and office tours as part of an inspirational day of activities at Wellington Place to celebrate International Women’s Day.

MEPC, the asset and development manager behind Wellington Place, once again partnered with Ahead Partnership to host its annual Women of the Future event.

The event is designed to provide young women across Leeds with an inclusive insight into different career paths, build their confidence and share key life skills through the unique mentorship of professionals based at the thriving urban quarter, Wellington Place.

As part of the event, Wellington Place invited 60 year nine female students from four Leeds schools, including Dixon’s Unity Academy, Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School, Roundhay School and Temple Moor School. They took part in a series of exciting activities and engaging workshops to experience first-hand what it’s like to work at an aspirational workplace which puts emphasis on a positive work-life balance.

The sessions were led by Ahead Partnership and supported by 42 female volunteers in roles ranging from apprentices to CEOs, giving the students the opportunity to speak directly with successful women at various stages of their careers. The mentors came from organisations based at Wellington Place, spanning sectors such as finance, law, and tech, and included Burendo, Hill Dickinson, The Department for Education, Equifax, ghd, and Wrigleys Solicitors.

The students were also tasked to complete the ‘Wellington Place Tour Challenge’, which saw them given a schedule and a map to attend tours at Wellington Place offices without any guidance, empowering them to be independent.  New for this year, and to reiterate the importance of self-care amid a busy schedule, the day ended with a breathing workshop and poetry reading.

97% of students said the event increased their understanding of how to get into different careers or jobs. 93% of students said the Women of the Future event improved their self-belief and confidence and 100% said they are thinking about their goals after school.

On the visit, one year nine student said: “Having all these women in the same room is just – wow – so inspiring. I enjoyed meeting different people and speaking to people that I hadn’t met before. I thought that would be really scary because I’m normally a bit shy but it has helped me become more confident.”

Another said: “I loved having the opportunity to meet people in different industries and get advice from other women. Seeing the offices was so inspiring.”

Dominique Murray, marketing manager and head of customer experience at MEPC, the developer and asset manager behind Wellington Place, said: “Research* indicates that many young people feel totally excluded from the labour market. Events that break down barriers, and that carve out the time and space for young women to feel empowered, confident, and heard, are therefore more important than ever.

“We are in a unique position to bring together women from multiple organisations based at Wellington Place from different backgrounds and stages of their careers and create an extremely positive mentoring experience for the students. As well as positive feedback from the young women that attended, the mentors have also expressed how much they have enjoyed sharing their experiences and inspiring others. We look forward to continuing our work with Ahead Partnership to support young people from all backgrounds across the city.”

Women of the Future is one of a number of events held annually as part of an initiative called Inspired, tailored to inspire, empower, and elevate young people. The programme, which is a collaboration between MEPC and Ahead Partnership, is designed to build life skills whilst introducing students to the diverse range of professional pathways offered at Wellington Place.

Leonie Matthews, programme manager at Ahead Partnership, added: “The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, which is why we couldn’t be more pleased to have worked with Wellington Place to provide a space which helps forge a more inclusive world for the next generation.

“We work with thousands of young people across the UK and see firsthand how daunting it can be for them when considering what comes after secondary school, professionally or personally. It’s something we notice particularly in young women, meaning events like Women of the Future are even more important, as we’re able to empower them to consider all the future opportunities they can take advantage of and ultimately help us achieve better inclusion for women and girls in the workplace.”

*City & Guilds, Youth Misspent: Uncovering the harsh realities for Britain’s young people in today’s job market –

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