Women leaders’ inspiring messages to Norfolk schoolgirls

PUBLISHED: 18:45 01 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:45 01 January 2018

Ormiston Victory Academy launches a series of 'working lunches' with inspirational talks by women leaders. Picture: ORMISTON VICTORY ACADEMY

Ormiston Victory Academy launches a series of 'working lunches' with inspirational talks by women leaders. Picture: ORMISTON VICTORY ACADEMY


“No dream is impossible” - that is message behind a series of inspirational talks to Norfolk schoolgirls from leading women in the worlds of business, academia, health and politics.

Students at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey, near Norwich, made a special request to hear from the leaders of different fields about the challenges they have faced in life and their careers.

So the school has agreed to start a series of “working lunches” to give pupils the chance to hear a presentation from different leaders, as well as talk one-on-one with them afterwards.

Naomi Palmer, principal of Ormiston Victory Academy, said: “It has been fantastic welcoming all of the special guests we’ve had so far in this series of talks, and our year-10 girls have shown such initiative in helping us to get this going.

“Talks like this are so important to inspiring students to achieve their full potential and showing them that no dream is impossible, if they put their mind to it.”

For many years, the academy says it has welcomed professionals to talk to students about their field of expertise during the “working lunches”, offering tips, words of wisdom and preparing students for the world of work.

But now, in response to a special request from year-10 student Maisie Sistern and others, the academy is hosting a series of talks specifically by women for female students.

So far, the academy has already welcomed visits from Dr Katherine Deane, a senior lecturer in research at the University of East Anglia (UEA), and Dr Kathryn Whyte, a patent attorney.

Both guests spoke about what inspired them, how they came to be where they are today, and what obstacles they had to overcome to get there.

The academy is looking forward to further visits from Sophie Fulford, director of Windsor Bishop jewellers - who will be meeting the students to discuss business management and diamond grading - and Maria Marsh and Gemma Frankland, both chartered accountants who followed different paths into their industries.

Looking further ahead, the academy has lined up a consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon and a detective superintendent, who will speak to students in the New Year.

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