A distinguished panel of inspirational women celebrated International Women’s Day with pupils at St Thomas of Canterbury primary school.
The school in Estcourt Road, Fulham, honoured the achievements and successes of nine women in their professional careers ranging from journalism to architecture at their morning assembly on Thursday 8 March.
“We want to give all young women and girls in H&F the best possible opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
It also marked the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote for the first time in the UK.
Panel of guests
The panel on the day included:
Marzia Farooqui – Finance
Sharon Hegarty – Marketing
Chandrika Joshi - Physicist accountant
Gloria Acuna – Empowering Mummies
Irene Villaescusa Guillen – IT consultant
Elizabeth Fitzherbert -Journalist
Tatiana Edwards – Research scientist
Leith Kerr – Architect
Dee Taylor – Charity sector
The pupils were told the stories of Kate Sheppard, the suffragette who made New Zealand the first country in the world to grant women the vote, during the morning assembly.
Afterwards, each of the women spoke to individual classes about their careers followed by a lively Q&A session.
Fulham resident and journalist Elizabeth Fitzherbert – whose son Benjamin attends the nursery at St Thomas – wowed Year 4 pupils with her tale of interviewing Danish actor Mads Mikkelson, who played James Bond villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale.
“Never be afraid to try new things. I became a writer in my late 20s,” Elizabeth said. “I always had an interest in writing and then an opportunity arose and I grabbed it with both hands.
“One of the people I was most honoured to interview was conductor Marin Alsop who became the first woman to perform at the Last Night of the Proms at Royal Albert Hall. I was so excited to meet her and have the chance to interview her.”
Meanwhile Tatiana Edwards, who is a research scientist at Imperial College London in Paddington, gave the Year 3 class (which included her son Luca) a talk on the importance of not smoking.
Tatiana is part of the team at Imperial doing research on respiratory illnesses such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.
Afterwards, Rosie Peters, Headeacher of St Thomas of Canterbury School, said: “It was especially important to celebrate the amazing contribution of women in society as it marks 100 years since women had the right to vote in this country.”