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‘What it takes’ series hosts compelling alumnae panel on ‘What it takes to be a female leader’

12 April 2019

What it takes to be a female leader

Hosted on Thursday 11 April in the Little Titchfield Street campus, it was an inspiring evening discussing all about female leadership and gender equality in the workplace with a panel of leading Westminster alumnae.

The panel provided advice and personal insight into what it takes to rise to the top of your career as a woman in contemporary society and covered topics around gender equality in the workplace, being strong women and how to become a female leader. It was followed by a Q&A session with refreshments and informal networking.

The speakers included Gillian Bowen, MBA alumna and CEO at City YMCA; Dr Victoria Harmer, MBA alumna and Consultant Nurse in Breast Care at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Chloé Bourjalliat, MA Translation and Interpreting alumna, Freelance Life Coach and Translator/Interpreter and Founder of the Cool Girls Club; and Ethel Tambudzai, BA Development Studies and International Relations alumna, former Vice President of the University of Westminster Students’ Union and Founder and Director of TAMBU GROUP.

Speaking about how gender stereotypes begin in education, one speaker said: “Girls seem to be taught to be pretty and to play safely, and boys seem to be encouraged to climb trees, run and fight. As a parent in the home, you want to encourage your children to be more than they can be, but there are factors outside of that which are beyond their control and will take more than 100 years to resolve. These things go back to a very early age and the question is, how can we impact on that?”

Another speaker said: “Women seem to be stuck in-between two different pressure points of society; one is that women need to be pretty, know how to cook and have kids and the other, with the big feminism wave going on, is that women need to be like men. The best thing that you can do for yourself to become a female leader today is to really find out who you are and what it is that you want, putting aside what anyone else wants and what society wants.

“Being a leader is about embracing what you truly believe in, instead of getting caught up in what everybody else thinks you should believe in. Just do you, whatever that looks like.”

Find out more about the ‘What it Takes’ event series.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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