Wendell Park celebrates International Women’s Day

Inspirational women from around the world gathered at a Shepherds Bush primary school to share their life experiences.

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Cllr Sue Fennimore talks to Wendell Park school children for International Women’s Day

Inspirational women from around the world gathered at a Shepherds Bush primary school today (8 March) to share their life experiences.

The morning assembly marked International Women’s Day, a long-running celebration at the Cobbold Road school. Fourteen women told pupils about what they wanted to be when they grew up – and later revealed their current professions.

They were joined by Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, who said: “When I was young I wanted to play football. But I wasn’t allowed to at my school because I was a girl.

“And ever since, I’ve been standing up for fairness – whether it’s gender equality, fighting racism or helping the less fortunate. So it was fantastic to see Wendell Park talking about some of the challenges still facing women and girls around the world.”

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The International Women’s Day panel in the school hall

The Women’s Day panel included:

  • Caroline Addy – barrister at One Brick Court
  • Emma Blijdenstein – journalist
  • Lisa Brown – plumber
  • Emma Mackie – model scout and careers fashion advisor
  • Katrina Crookall – manager at Barbican Art Gallery
  • Xochitl Ireland – advertising manager at Bartle Bogle Hegarty
  • Colleen Joseph – artistic director of Lotus Dance
  • Fiona Griffith – group director of Isle Utilities
  • Ilona Wincencik – crane driver at Western Riverside Waste Authority
  • Charlotte Rawlins – marketing director at Little Dish
  • Caroline Pang – head of marketing communications (Europe and Asia Pacific) for PGIM
  • Rachel Herve – efficiency director at L’Oreal UK

After the morning assembly each of the women spoke with pupils in their classes.

In Year 4 Amber class, Cllr Fennimore was quizzed by pupils about her footballing skills, Margaret Thatcher and the suffragettes, and the people who inspired her to get into politics.

It led one pupil to ask if Cllr Fennimore would sign her petition to get football card manufacturer Match Attax to put female players on their cards. She signed.

When asked about young people voting, Cllr Fennimore said 16 was the right age for a first vote. And when she was asked if she had ever experience sexism, she replied: “Yes. Especially in the first job I did when I was younger and it made me feel very cross. 

“You should always challenge discrimination of any sort. Be polite – but challenge it.”

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