St Swithun's hosts GSA conference


Over 200 girls from schools across the south of England attended a leadership conference at St Swithun’s before half-term. The event, organised by the Girls’ School Association, examined the skills and characteristics that constitute leadership, in particular hearing how 20 prominent female leaders have made their way in the world. Girls were also asked to consider how their own experiences have shaped their views on leadership.

The conference was opened by Dame Helen Ghosh, DCB, who is Director General at the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, following 30 years of working in high profile roles within government.

Delegates had an opportunity to listen, learn and debate, eventually deciding on the leadership traits which most closely matched their own personality and which proved most effective in the real world. Sessions were taken throughout the day by leading women in the fields of law, medicine, the charitable sector, the armed forces, public service, the police, environmental health, marketing, PR, corporate communications, sport and leisure and entrepreneurship.

Karen England - Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Make-A-Wish UK

Eliza Flynn - Head of Operations & Marketing for an eCommerce business

Jane Gandee, headmistress of St Swithun’s, said “I hope that today’s conference has opened the girls’ minds to the reality of effective leadership today; successful leaders are far less brash and more subtle than the media would sometimes have us believe.”

Jemima Tsang M5 said “I was really motivated by the speakers and particularly by Lynne Owens, Chief Constable of Surrey Police. She and the others opened my eyes to the leadership opportunities now available to women in historically male dominated professions.”

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