The Girls’ Network was recently awarded the Network of the Year award – sponsored by BAE Systems – at the Diversity and Inclusion Heroes Awards hosted in November.
The Girls’ Network aims to inspire and empower girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of female professional role models. The network, which supports over a thousand girls a year, believes that no girl’s future should be limited by her background, gender or parental income.
The Girls’ Network was founded by two teachers who saw first-hand the multiple barriers facing the least advantaged girls in their classrooms: the pressure to conform to ideals, a lack of confidence or self-belief, and a lack of professional female role models in their networks. The Girls’ Network believe that diverse role models, particularly for young people, are key – people they can relate to by gender, ethnicity, sexuality, career choices and background.
The network’s volunteer mentors are given training and meet their mentee at least once a month for a year. The mentor and supporter network is made up of women at different stages of their careers in the arts, STEM, transport, construction, media, and more. At any given time, there are over 3,000 women and girls in the network, all brought together by the desire to support each other and make a positive change.
At the end of the mentoring journey, mentees become ambassadors of The Girls’ Network. The network hopes to see its ambassadors return as mentors once they’ve entered the world of work, creating a self-sustaining social movement with the goal of achieving unlimited futures for all young women.
The network’s research shows that 93 per cent of its mentees believe their mentor has improved their confidence and 96 per cent of girls believe their mentor has helped them to feel more positive about their future.
One of The Girls’ Network’s ambassadors said:
Networking means opportunities. Opportunities to thrive, opportunities you never knew you had before, opportunities to excel. The Girls’ Network allows you to connect with other strong and capable women, who want to give you the help they wish they had. It gives you a chance to learn and experience a plethora of professions. Forever grateful.
Congratulations to The Girls’ Network for their award!