I hate school reunions. That is clearly why I am organising one.
I hate it when you take those final two steps into the room full of old girls (in my case) and in those two steps you go right back to being 17, unsure, slightly over anxious, concerned about your clothes, make up, hair…..oh god.
So why then on April 16th am I encouraging the class of 1990 from Devonport High School for Girls to get back together? Because I have been inspired and angered in equal parts by some campaigns of late, #thisgirlcan, the Davies Report, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations state of the profession research to name a few.
I was exceptionally fortunate to have a hugely supportive family, especially from my maternal grandparents. I also went to a very confident and strong school. It taught me that my gender was not relevant to my ambition. My schooling was inspiring. I loved learning. I hated the gossip and the bitching. I have never been very good at being in the ‘in crowd’. But that is all another story.
I have been really interested in the emphasis from government and business to promote diverse careers for girls and increase the number of women on boards and I wanted to give something back to the sixth formers of my old school.
Over a rather convivial lunch last summer with two old girls, we thought we would go for it. As I was pregnant, I remembered everything we discussed and followed up on it! Emma Gough is a science graduate, working in the innovation areas of food; Penny Atkinson (nee Anstis) is a medical graduate, working now as a GP but with an interesting career path through the Navy and the Para-Olympics and later we roped in another willing volunteer: Sharon Brodie is a senior manager for a large food retail chain – often finding herself to be the only female on the senior team.
Ed Lamb, the Deputy Head and Head of Sixth Form at DHSG has been enormously supporting and we are holding a careers session with the sixth formers on Thursday 16th April at school, Ed said, “We are delighted to welcome back some of our past students for an alma mater career cavalcade at DHSG. We always look for opportunities to bring in experiences from professionals to enrich, inspire and enliven our students’ academic journey here.”
The careers cavalcade will start at 1230 until about 2pm and then a reunion is being organised for later that day. I am getting my hair done. I mean look at us: