Connecting Enterprising Women

The University recently hosted 'Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures Conference', part of the Connecting Enterprising Girls programme set up by Ruth Dass, School of Performance and Cultural Industries


The conference concluded the 2013 Parliament Week and was attended by 75 girls from three local schools. Talks were given by speakers including Rachel Reeves MP, Baroness Margaret Eaton and Leeds City Council Chief Executive Tom Riordan. The conference explored the theme “Accessing University”, and the University’s Head of Educational Engagement, Louise Banahene, spoke on this theme. 

The Connecting Enterprising Girls programme raises aspirations by connecting girls to successful women through the sharing of personal stories. It was piloted with Leeds East Academy in partnership with Leeds City Council and the not-for-profit organisation, Connecting Enterprising Women (CEW), and has been extended to two other local academies, John Smeaton Community College and David Young Community Academy. 

Lindsey Strachan, Educational Engagement at the University of Leeds, said: “The University was delighted to host this conference. We are committed to making our courses available to the brightest and best regardless of background and programmes like this play an important role achieving this aim”. 

Ruth Dass, Director of CEW, said: “CEW is delighted to have been part of Parliament Week and is looking forward to developing a portraits exhibition featuring the women and girls involved. These portraits will be exhibited at the Houses of Parliament to mark International Women’s Day and we will also be delivering a future series of activities for Leeds schools, in partnership with Leeds City Council.” 

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services at Leeds City Council, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with CEW and the University to deliver such an important programme of events. The aspirations of our young people are central to building and sustaining the success of such a great city as Leeds and we are looking forward to the next steps of this expanding programme.”

For more information please see the programme website.

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