The Girls' Network Breakfast

The Girls’ Network Breakfast

6 Group and The Girls’ Network will be hosting a breakfast on Wednesday 30th November at Altrincham Town Hall in Altrincham, Greater Manchester to provide an opportunity to learn more about a new initiative…

The Girls’ Network is an award-winning charity that aims to transform the lives of girls and young women from the least advantaged communities by matching them with professional female mentors and open doors to a new future. Having fostered an extremely successful programme over the last three years in London and the South East – and in partnership with executive search & leadership advisory firm 6 Group – The Girls’ Network is now extending its reach to the Northern Powerhouse of Manchester.

The aim of the breakfast is to give the decision makers at key schools and employers in and around Manchester the opportunity to hear about the work of the charity, what it aims to deliver and how both companies and individuals can get involved in the programme.

The Challenge
Girls from the least-advantaged communities face a double-disadvantage in life; gender inequality is exacerbated by poverty, and so both the ‘glass’ and the ‘class ceiling’ are holding girls back.

One of the biggest barriers to success is access to networks, and support to develop the skills that will allow young women from these communities to succeed. This, coupled with a wider society that still demonstrates great gender inequality both in the media and the workplace, means that it is critical that we break the cycle of under representation and lack of self-value faced by girls and women.

Girls from low-income communities often have lower levels of education than their more affluent peers, with only 50% of 16-year old girls from the poorest homes achieving any GCSE passes above grade D. They also have to manage the many challenges of being a teenage girl today, such as peer pressure, expectations about appearance and behaviour, anxiety and mental health issues, all of which are problems faced by girls across Greater Manchester today.

Inspiration for the Charity
While working as teachers on the Teach First Programme, Charly Young and Becca Dean were struck by the lack of expectation and ambition for their futures, held by girls in the classrooms – many of whom were from some of the deprived communities in the country.

They recognised the need to change this and started to engage friends and former colleagues as mentors to girls they taught. This pilot mentoring programme saw huge impact, and attracted a lot of interest from other schools. This demand lead to the formation of The Girls’ Network, and the charity now works with more than 700 14-19 year old girls each year across London and the South Coast.

Why now?
This ground-breaking charity has attracted interest from schools, government and business. It is recognised that not only do the girls being mentored benefit, but so do the mentors themselves. We have used five key metrics (IDACI, NEET, FSM6, teenage pregnancy and child poverty) to identify those regions most in need of our programme and network.
Over a third of Manchester’s neighbourhoods are ranked as the most deprived in the country for income deprivation affecting children, and girls are particularly at risk, with rates of FGM the highest outside of London, ranging from 12-16 per 1000. Manchester is also a buzzing hub, with successful and inspiring businesses, great community infrastructures and diverse opportunities for all young people.

Manchester and Birmingham are the first targets of that expansion, but to be successful the charity needs to work with committed sectors, which recognise the challenge and are willing to support the charity and the girls that they help.

If you would like to attend, please register your place here.

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