Inspiring Women Campaign

The Inspiring Women campaign already has over 24,500 amazing women ready to talk with girls in state schools about the ‘job they do’ and route they took. Our campaign has women from a wide range of occupations going into schools, who will collectively be talking to over 500,000 young women.

Our volunteers may be asked by teachers to take part in ‘career speed networking’ events, informal classroom talks, enterprise activities or careers fairs with students.

Inspiring Women in Bangladesh

The first Inspiring Women style event took place as a pilot in Dhaka on 23rd December 2015. Modelled on the UK campaign, it brought together many successful women from the world of work to talk with over 200 female students from different schools.

Read the full story

Inspiring Women in China

The British Council in China is also working with our Inspiring Women campaign to expose girls and young women across China to a range of professional roles and career options. In December 2016 we officially launched Inspiring Women China.

Read about the launch here.

iw-china-delegates        iw-china-speed-networking


JOIN US by pledging one hour a year to change young lives by volunteering to talk with girls in school. Register here – whatever your job, career or life stage!

Who can volunteer?

You can be an 18 year old Apprentice or a CEO, work for yourself or for a multi-national, be working full-time, part-time or having a career break – girls in state schools want to hear about your job, career and life experiences.

We need to bring about significant culture change so that it becomes commonplace that girls, wherever they live and whatever their social background, get the chance to meet a wide range of people doing different jobs.

Watch our video Inspiring Women: What’s it about and how does it work?

Find out more about our campaign

Read about the impact of our campaign in ‘Inspiring Women: the story so far’ IW Campaign Summary Digital

Read the Inspiring Women campaign section in the London Evening Standard(published 16th October 2014) for the campaign’s first birthday here: Inspiring Women ES PDF

Inspiring Women Campaign Blog

You can read, follow and contribute your volunteering stories to the Inspiring Women campaign blog:

Campaign timeline

Women in Science with L’Oréal

We believe fostering female scientists of the future starts much earlier in life, which is why, to mark the tenth anniversary of L’Oréal’s For Women in Science, we’re linking with L’Oréal to inspire women in science.

Working with the L’Oréal team, we’ll be pairing inspirational women in science with primary schools, to help instill a love of the sciences at a young age, and to excite them about the possibilities of a science-based job.

Because by encouraging more scientists into schools and opening children’s eyes to the range of careers that science leads to, we can help bring those possibilities to life. By introducing young girls to female role models working in science, we can help make scientific jobs feel both exciting and attainable.

Anne Lyons, President of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said:

“Role models from the world of work can have a big impact on children – they can help them see why the subject they are studying matter. It also helps to tackle the stereotypes children have from a young age which lead them to think that certain subjects and careers are not for them. We know that children from the age of 5 often stereotype the jobs people do according to their gender – and this is particularly the case in science. That is why we are keen to get more volunteers who work in science to volunteer an hour of their time to visit a local school and chat to young people about their job and career route.”

How can you help?

The main aim of the campaign is to encourage women with a job that uses science in any guise, to volunteer in a local primary school. Anything you can do within your networks to encourage this, will help us all inspire more young female scientists.

Now is your chance to get involved. Sign up to Inspiring the Future to help inspire the next generation of women in Science. Don’t forget to select ‘L’Oréal ForWomenInscience’ to let us know how you heard about us.

See photos from the campaign launch.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women China

The Inspiring Women campaign is delighted to announce that in partnership with the British Council China we are officially launching Inspiring Women China.

The official launch event took place on Sunday 4th December in Beijing. Amongst guests were Her Majesty’s Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward DCMG OBE; Paralympic gold medalist Susie Rodgers; Carma Elliott CMG OBE, Director of British Council China and Ching Tien, founder of Educating Girls of Rural China in attendance.


Inspiring Women Master Classes at the North Cambridge Academy

On Thursday 20th October over 30 volunteers came together to raise awareness of Inspiring the Future in Cambridge. With more than 300 pupils in attendance, the aim of the event was to help introduce young people to the technology and creativity sectors, and raise their aspirations about the paths they can follow. There were a series of Inspiring Women master classes run by Prof Dame Athene Donald DBE FRS, Emily Jupp – Designer and Owner of Milly J Shoes, Dr Helen Watson, Fellow and Director of Studies in Archaeology and Anthropology, St John’s College, Jane Paterson-Todd, CEO of Cambridge Ahead, Dr Dana Galili, Research Associate Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Isabel Napper, a Technology Lawyer. We were delighted to partner with Form the Future to run the Inspiring Women master classes. Co-founded by Anne Bailey and Michaela Eschbach, Form the Future is a social enterprise connecting schools and businesses in the Cambridge area to deliver Signpost 2 Skills for the Greater Cambridge City Deal.


Inspiring Women in the Arts Business with Sotheby’s

The Inspiring Women campaign teamed up with Sotheby’s to show girls in state schools and colleges the range of careers available in the sector. Over 50 girls aged 13 – 18 had the opportunity to meet 11 women doing different roles, and ask questions about their jobs and career experiences. The event took place at the iconic London HQ of Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading fine art auctioneers. Women continue to make an outstanding contribution to the arts sector in a varied range of roles, including artist, gallery director, finance manager, art history expert, and many more.


Inspiring Women in Business

125 state school girls had the opportunity to participate in a career speed networking event with high profile women in business and enterprise at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and had the rare opportunity to participate in the iconic market opening. The event was hosted by Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group and Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West CBE, Trustee and Ambassador of the Inspiring Women Campaign. Speed networkers included a range of high profile women from the Business and Enterprise sector, from organisations such as Bank of American Merrill Lynch, Virgin Money and Goldman Sachs.


Inspiring Women in Dance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre

On 18th March 2016 the Inspiring Women Campaign teamed up with English National Ballet and Sadler’s Wells theatre to show girls in state schools and colleges the range of careers in the dance sector. 100 girls aged 13 – 18 did ‘career speed networking’ at Sadler’s Wells with women working in different jobs across the dance sector. For centuries women have been the face of dance on the stage but there are numerous other jobs to which they can aspire in the sector. Surprisingly, women have been notably absent in certain key roles such as choreography.


Inspiring Women in Defence -pilots to medics – motivate at MOD

The Inspiring Women campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Defence hosted a flagship ‘career speed networking’ event on 12 January at the MoD headquarters in Whitehall London. There were 25 women representing a wide range of careers in the defence industry talking with 100 state school girls about their jobs and experiences. Minister for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt, MP opened the event and took part in careers speed networking. The even was closed by Air Vice-Marshal Elaine West CBE, the highest ranking female in the British Armed Forces.

Inspiring Women in Defence – pilots to medics – motivate at the MOD

Inspiring Women in Music – singers to sound engineers – motivate at the Royal Albert Hall

The Inspiring Women campaign in partnership with MOBO hosted a flagship ‘career speed networking’ event in the Royal Albert Hall on 9 September 2015.  It saw 35 women representing a wide range of careers in the music industry talk with 200 state school girls about their jobs and experiences.  Career speed networkers included; singer and pop icon Sandie Shaw, Radio DJ Sara Cox, Kanya King, CEO and Founder of MOBO and Strictly Come Dancing 2015 contestant and broadcaster Katie Derham.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women and ‘100 Women in Hedge Funds’

On 2 July 2015 Miriam Gonzalez Durantes spoke about the Inspiring Women campaign at an event organised by ‘100 Women in Hedge Funds’ which took place at the London Stock Exchange.

Inspiring Women in Games in partnership with BAFTA Young Game Designers

On 19 May 2015 the Inspiring Women campaign and BAFTA have teamed up to host a BAFTA Young Game Designers workshop and speed networking event for girls to inspire them to consider a career in the games industry. The event was with 60 pupils from Skinners Academy in Hackney. Women from the games industry explained the various careers available and gave feedback on the young participants’ own game ideas, which they can enter into the nationwide BAFTA YGD competition in association with Nominet Trust.

‘Inspiring Women in the Arts’ in partnership with BAFTA

On 23 April 2015 Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall hosted ‘Inspiring Women in the Arts’ in partnership with BAFTA. 170 high profile women representing a wide range of careers in the arts did career speed networking with 850 state school girls.

Well known faces from the world of television, theatre and the arts took part such as; actress Jenny Agutter OBE, editor Rosie Boycott, potter Emma Bridgewater, The Miniaturist author Jessie Burton, Art of Noise founder and composer Anne Dudley, Call the Midwife script editor Katy Harmer, BBC One Show presenter Alex Jones, Jude Kelly OBE Southbank Centre Director, Harry Potter casting director Karen Lindsay-Stewart, author Kate Mosse OBE, TV presenter June Sarpong and opera singer Amanda Roocroft.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women: ‘Driven to Success’

On 26 March 15 women took part in a unique ‘career speed networking’ event with 100 girls aged 13 – 17 from four state secondary schools on the HQS Wellington. From RAF jet fighter plane pilots, to Formula E drivers, to British Airways’ first female pilot, to Merchant Navy officers and helicopter pilots, these women are breaking into traditionally male dominated arenas.

The event was on board HQS Wellington, the last surviving Second World War escort ship in Britain. Moored at Temple Stairs on the River Thames since 1948, she is the Headquarters of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women in Tech

On 12 March 2015 Mulberry School for Girls in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets hosted the Inspiring Women in Technology career speed networking event this week. High achieving women from household name companies such as; Google UK, Facebook, Sky News, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Bank of America Merrill Lynch talked face to face with 100 school girls about jobs and careers.

This event near London’s self-styled Tech City is part of the wider Inspiring Women campaign.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Clare Balding & London Aquatics Centre host Inspiring Women in Sport

On 25 February 2015, BT Sport broadcaster Clare Balding joined Inspiring Women founder Miriam González Durántez and 300 girls from 18 state schools at the London Aquatics Centre for ‘career speed networking’ with women working across the sport sector. 55 influential women from sports governing bodies, professional athletes and sports media took part. Sports represented include everything from archery to volleyball.

Backed by principal partner BT Sport and also the British Olympic Association and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Inspiring Women called upon females working in this sector to pledge one hour a year to talk with girls in state schools nationally about forging a career in this traditionally male dominated industry.

More career speed networking sessions took place across the country during Inspiring Women in Sport Week – 23 February to 1 March 2015 including events at BT Murrayfield rugby ground in Edinburgh and the National Tennis Centre in west London.

Inspiring Women in Sport launched at the BT Tower

On 20 January 2015 female leaders from the world of sport including; BT Sport broadcaster Clare Balding, world 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and Minister for Sport Helen Grant joined Inspiring Women founder Miriam González Durántez at BT Tower to launch Inspiring Women in Sport.

Backed by BT Sport, Inspiring Women in Sport called upon females working in this sector to pledge one hour a year to talk with girls in state schools nationally about forging a career in this traditionally male dominated industry.

As a curtain-raiser for the campaign, 30 schoolgirls from Queensmead School, Hillingdon participated in a one hour ‘career speed networking’ session at the top of BT Tower with influential women from sports governing bodies, professional athletes and sports media.  The launch announced Inspiring Women in Sport Week – 23 February to 1 March 2015.

Inspiring Women in Finance at the Bank of England

On 16 December 2014, 45 high profile women working in the UK Financial Services Sector took part in a career speed networking event with 120 girls aged 14 – 17 from six London state secondary schools at the iconic Bank of England headquarters on Threadneedle Street.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Financial Times newspaper Editor, Lionel Barber, spoke about their increasing commitment to diversity and why a number of their female colleague were taking part in this event.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women in Fashion

On 12 November 2014 the Editor of British Vogue magazine, Alexandra Shulman  with 20 other women from the fashion industry took part in an Inspiring Women campaign ‘career speed networking’ and 120 girls at St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School, New Kent Road, London. Model Daisy Lowe also participated, along with senior women from Top Shop, Superdry, Bobbi Brown, Marks & Spencer, Aspinal, Harrods and the British Fashion Council to name but a few.

The aim of this event was to demystify the ever popular fashion industry and show the wide range of roles to which young girls today can aspire – from design, to manufacturing, to marketing, to retail. Looking behind the glitz and glamour to the real jobs available to the enterprising.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspiring Women in Scotland

On 6 October 2014, New College Lanarkshire hosted the Inspiring Women in Scotland launch event. Ten senior women from government, public and private sectors, and the arts took part in a speed career-networking event talking directly with 100 young girls about their experiences, their job and how they got there. Schools and colleges in Scotland can now find diverse volunteers to talk jobs, careers and life experiences with their students.

RAF – Inspiring Women – 15th July 2014

Inspiring Women organised an event with female RAF helicopter crew landing at Manchester Academy in Moss Side on 15 July 2014 with the RAF’s first female Air Vice-Marshal, Elaine West.


Inspiring ‘Women Who Make London’

The ‘Women who Make London‘ event took place at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School, King’s Cross, on 11 July 2014 with Lord Mayor, Fiona Woolfe CBE, and 100 other women; from West End theatre choreographers to Thames sewerage engineers.

 The ‘Women who make London’

 ‘Inspiring Women with Aston Martin’ in Coventry

Inspiring Women with Aston Martin at Tile Hill School, Coventry on 2 July 2014. Women doing diverse jobs at the company drove the latest model Aston Martin cars on to the school playing field, then did career speed networking with 100 girls. Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd is a luxury British sports car manufacturer based near the school in Coventry.


Inspiring Women in Design and Manufacturing

Inspiring Women in Design and Manufacturing’ speed dating careers’ with 160 students at St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey, near Liverpool, on 19 June 2014.

International Women’s Day 2014

Inspiring Women: International Women’s Day saw Rushanara Ali, Bow and Bethnal Green MP and Shadow Education Minister, visit Central Foundation Girls School in Bow and Justine Thornton, Environmental Barrister and wife of Ed Miliband Leader of the Labour Party, visit Parliament Hill Girls School in Camden on 7 March 2014 for career speed networking sessions.

Inspiring Women Campaign

Inspirational Women including Samantha Cameron and Clare Balding at Basildon Upper Academy, Essex

One of the first high profile events to be held in a school was Inspiring Women ‘career speed networking’ and careers fair at Basildon Upper Academy, Essex, on 22 January 2104. Career speed networkers included; Clare Balding, Samantha Cameron and Miriam Gonzalez Durantes.

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Lancaster House campaign launch event, Oct 2013

The Inspiring the Future: Inspiring Women campaign launched with a ‘career speed networking’ event hosted by Miriam González Durántez with 100 girls from 11 state secondary schools talking jobs and careers with 10 high profile successful women.

Inspiring Women

The campaign began with 10 women sharing their career insights with 100 girls. The high profile women who took part in the launch included:

  • Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert LLP and the wife of Nick Clegg the DPM
  • Fiona Bruce, BBC journalist and presenter
  • Athene Donald DBE, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge
  • Thea Green, CEO Nails Inc’s
  • Bettany Hughes, historian and broadcaster
  • Livia Firth, Creative Director Eco Age Ltd
  • Carrie Longton, Mumsnet co-founder
  • Carolyn McCall, CEO easyJet
  • Heather McGregor, entrepreneur and Financial Times columnist
  • Barbara Stocking DBE, former CEO Oxfam and current President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

Press coverage from the launch

See photos from the launch event.

Read our press release and Lancaster House launch event brochure

Inspiring Women in Sport 2015

Inspiring Women asked women who work in the sports sector to pledge one hour a year to go to a local school and chat to girls about what it is like to work in their industry. The campaign looked for women doing all kinds of jobs – including athletes, coaches, HR officers, physios, journalists, accountants – and at all levels, from graduate trainees to trustees and CEOs.

Many high-profile sporting organisations gave their backing including; Women in Sport, the British Olympic Association, the FA, BT Sport, the English Cricket Board, the LTA, Women in Sport, England Netball, Sport and Recreation Alliance, and Women in Football.

BT Sports presenter Clare Balding took a leading role in the campaign so hear what she has to say about it in this short video.

Inspiring Women in Sport in action


Easy Steps to ‘Speed Career Dating’ and ‘Career Insight’ events

This short booklet gives teachers advice and ideas for how to use Inspiring Women volunteers and organise activities for students in their school or college.