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Scheme to empower girls returns after hiatus

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Schoolgirls learn leadership and entrepreneurial skills during the She Leads Real World Readiness Programme in 2019 (Photograph supplied)

A programme created to empower girls and young women will return this summer after a two-year hiatus.

She Leads: A Real World Readiness Programme is now accepting submissions for its week-long life skills course at the start of July.

The course, launched by the Bermuda High School and HSBC, aims to provide high school girls with entrepreneurial and leadership skills so they may take control of their lives and future careers.

Linda Parker, the BHS head, said that creating the programme was a “natural fit” for her school because of their focus on empowering girls and developing leadership skills at a young age.

She added: “By teaching these skills and mindsets early, these young women will be in a better position to recognise their leadership capabilities and fully realise their potential.”

Schoolgirls learn leadership and entrepreneurial skills during the She Leads Real World Readiness Programme in 2019 (Photograph supplied)

The schoolgirls will learn about the importance of education and participate in lessons on leadership, public speaking, time management and self care.

Participants will also learn entrepreneurial skills and practical business skills such as investment building a personal brand.

She Leads will give the girls a chance to build relationships with one another and create professional connections and personal support networks for the future.

Ms Parker said many young women entering the workforce faced systemic challenges such as pay gaps and problems with career advancement, as well as personal challenges such as low self-confidence.

Because of this, programmes like She Leads were important for Bermudian girls, she said.

Ms Parker thanked Christie Hunter Arscott, a BHS alumna from 2001 and strategic advisor who helped launch the programme with HSBC’s support.

She added: “We are so proud to be able to offer this unique programme to Bermuda’s young women and to be partnered with HSBC and have Christie’s guidance.”

Schoolgirls learn leadership and entrepreneurial skills during the She Leads Real World Readiness Programme in 2019 (Photograph supplied)

She Leads was started in 2019 between BHS and HSBC as a way to prepare teenaged girls for the workforce and adulthood before they left high school.

The summer programme received positive feedback but was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Julie Butler, the co-ordinator of She Leads, said that the programme is expected to be held in-person but will be subject to Government restrictions.

She added that contingency plans would be put in place if group sizes needed to be reduced or if the programme had to be held virtually.

Judy Doidge, the HSBC corporate secretary and executive sponsor overseeing the partnership, said: “HSBC is pleased to have the opportunity to once again offer this programme to a new cohort of inspiring young women in our community.

“Now more than ever as an organisation and a community, we need to find unique ways to collaborate and empower these individuals as they pursue their career journeys.”

She Leads will run from July 4 to July 9 and will accept pupils from BHS, CedarBridge Academy and Berkeley Institute who are in their second to last year of high school.

Schoolgirls are encouraged to submit an application explaining why wish to join the programme.

These applications can be made through any preferred medium, such as a poem, an infographic, a video or a piece of art.

Large files must be sent through a file-sharing platform such as WeTransfer or YouTube.

Submissions, as well as any questions, should be sent to sheleads@bhs.bm. For more information, go to https://www.bhs.bm/school-life/she-leads

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Published April 29, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated April 29, 2021 at 7:35 am)

Scheme to empower girls returns after hiatus

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