The Lord Mayor’s Appeal, in partnership with OnSide Youth Zones, Place2Be and Teach First, seeks to change perceptions and empower young women to make informed decisions about their careers, reframing the City as not only a viable, but an exciting career option for them. She Can Be… collaborates with City businesses, exposing young women to a variety of roles to inspire them to join the City workforce – realising and polishing the skills that they already have, building confidence, and learning how those skills transfer into the City.
She Can Be… 2020 took place on Thursday 13 February, and was attended by over 250 young women between the ages of 14 – 18. The initiative pairs groups of young women from charity partners and schools with City businesses to increase awareness and understanding of how these organisations operate and the opportunities available within them.
25 businesses hosted groups of young women, including Aon, Fidelity International and Canary Wharf Group - highlighting their commitment to targeting the barriers that contribute to the skills crisis. The day continued at East Wintergarden. Consisting of three key segments, the afternoon session included a problem solving session, a valuable panel and an inspiring pledge, designed so that the young women could walk away feeling confident that they could solve the City’s problems and empowered to take control of their future careers.
Here are a few highlights from She Can Be 2020…
- One aim is for young women to see and have increased knowledge of the different roles available to them. Before She Can Be…, 56% of the participants agreed that they understood the different careers available to them in the City, but as testament to participating businesses’ hard work and the exposure that the young women received, 88% of young women agreed that they understood the variety of roles that exist within the City at the end of the day.
- Where 34% of young women knew what skills were needed for a career in the City before the event, this rose to 76% after She Can Be…. Skills are central to She Can Be..., and to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s strategy to create A Better City for All. By showcasing some of the skills that City workers use daily, the young women understood that these skills, and thereby these careers, are not unattainable.
- Before the event 68% of young women in the 2020 cohort were interested in a career in the City – which was an extremely positive starting point, which rose to 80% immediately after the event, reflecting the impact that the event had on the young women's perceptions of the City.
- In showcasing transferable skills to the workplace, She Can Be… intends to boost young women’s confidence in their abilities by equipping them with the tools to consider careers in the City if they want one. This measurement comes with the understanding that some young women may have had a career. After She Can Be… confidence in the young women’s own ability to have a career in the City if they wanted one rocketed from 65% to 88%,
As well as the quantifiable measurements, we received brilliant anecdotal feedback. One young woman suggested that her confidence increased as a result of the event by stating that “Being allowed to discuss and share each other's thoughts… has made me more confident.” Another commented that her favourite part of the day was “Realising that I have more skills than I thought I had”
Our Real Models were inspiring, with another said that “meeting all different young women, meeting new people and learning about jobs available to me” was her favourite part of the day. Indeed, many young women highlighted the value of talking to different women about their careers and their paths to them: “I enjoyed meeting different inspirational women and their journeys to success.”
She Can Be… is about expanding minds, inspiring young women, and opening up opportunities. We were thrilled that one young woman stated: “In the future I can be anything”.
For further details and statistics please see the report here.