Aspire - Leadership for the future

The Aspire 2017 M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Leadership Annual Conference
London, 4th and 5th December, 2017

Join Dr Sam Collins, CEO of Aspire and named as 'One of the Top 200 Women to Impact Business and Industry’ by Her Majesty, The Queen, and 'One of the Top 10 Coaches in the UK' by The Independent, and trailblazing women leaders from across industries, levels and backgrounds to lead, create change and make a transformational difference to your career, workplace, organisation and community.

  • Develop your leadership skills.
  • Be inspired by role model speakers.
  • Create a new vision for 2018.
  • Overcome obstacles, challenges and fears.
  • Join a like-minded external network.
  • Gain tools to increase influence and impact.
  • Leave with a tangible action plan.
 

Part 1 - The Aspire M.A.D. Leadership Preparation webinar

Join a 60-minute webinar with Dr Sam Collins. Learn the top tips to be a M.A.D. Leader, define your conference goals, measurements and practical plans. Network with other like-minded attendees ahead of the conference.

Part 2 - The Aspire M.A.D Leadership Conference
December 4th and 5th in London, UK. Part innovation lab, part business change incubator and part career and leadership advice centre, we offer our attendees a unique ecosystem of speakers, tools, resources, inspiration and collaboration opportunities to make a difference as a leader at work, at home and in the world.

Part 3 - The Aspire M.A.D. Leadership Post Event 'No Excuses' Webinar
Participate in a 60 minute follow up ‘No Excuses’ webinar with Dr Sam Collins to provide the inspiration, support network and challenge to achieve your conference actions and increase your return on investment back at work and in real life.

 

M.A.D. Leadership Conference Agenda

4th December 2017 - Strategic and Visionary You

Registration, breakfast and informal networking 8.30am – 9.15am

Begin the day with a light breakfast and networking.  Exchange ideas, find mentors, role models and supporters for your M.A.D. aspirations, projects and goals.

 
Optional Breakfast Session

Mindfulness Practice for a M.A.D. Life, Career and World

Learning Objectives: Self care is a critical skill set of M.A.D. Leaders. Develop your physical, mental and emotional tool kit for a M.A.D life, work and world.

 
Conference Opening Session

'Strategic You' - The power and impact of being a ‘M.A.D.’ leader in today’s competitive organisation and global economy.

Learning Objectives: Create your leadership vision for 2018. Learn to think bigger and overcome internal fears and obstacles. Gain a tool kit for being visionary and translate it for use at home, at work or in the wider world.

Dr Sam Collins,
CEO and Founder
Aspire, Trailblazing Women

 

 
Session 2

Keynote Speakers:

Challenging Leaders to be a Catalyst for Change

Learning Objectives: Be inspired by the power of knowing your inner strength in the toughest of time times. Learn how to be resilient, overcome obstacles, think and act on your feet and be determined to make a difference in the most difficult of circumstances.

Natalie Prosser,
Director of Legal,
Ofqual

 

Rebecca Prosser,
Documentary Filmmaker

 

 
Networking Lunch

Join an inspiring and supportive network of like-minded women leaders from across industries. Gain new ideas and contribute to your organisational diversity and inclusion goals to advance, develop and retain women leaders.

 
Session 3

Turbo Speaker Sessions and Interactive Exercises.

Define Your Leadership Purpose & Increase Your Confidence, Resilience and Impact

Learning objectives: Leadership purpose is the ‘North Star’ that gives us direction. Define your leadership purpose and transform your confidence, gravitas and personal and professional impact.

Lesley Batchelor, OBE,
Director General,
Institute of Export & International Trade

 

Jane Howson,
Chief Executive,
Autism East Midlands

 

Kirsty Keck,
Director of Strategy and Operational Performance,
Nationwide Building Society

 

Caron Bradshaw,
Chief Executive,
Charity Finance Group

 

Sarah de los Rios,
Commercial and Marketing Director,
Altro

 

Geordan Shannon,
Doctor and Research Fellow,
Institute for Global Health, University College London

 

Zareen Roohi Ahmed,
Academic, Humanitarian and Company Founder & CEO
of Gift Wellness Ltd

 

Nicky Young,
Group Managing Director,
MullenLowe Salt Communications and PR

 

Sarah Kitakule,
Adviser, Gender and Economic Empowerment,
The Commonwealth Secretariat

 

 
Session 4

Reflection Session: The Power of Quiet Time

Take the time away from your inbox to reflect on your career, life and community. Gain exercises and tools to translate your insights into real life and create your M.A.D. plans for after the conference.

 
Session 5

Panel Discussion: Confidence, Authenticity and Success

Learning Objective: "How do they do it?" - Hear their stories and gain new strategies, top tips and inspiration on how to be confident, be yourself and perform at your highest levels to make a difference to yourself and others.

Rachel Dent,
Head of The Abbey School for Girls

 

Claire Green,
Security Industry Expert - Office for Security & Counter Terrorism at the Home Office,
Hart Security UK Limited

 

Alison Bates,
Director of Application Performance and Delivery (IT),
Avis Budget Group

 

Erin Northey,
CEO of
EducAid Sierra Leone

 

Helen Tite,
Social Entrepreneur
Core Health Consultancy

 

Maria Bondareva,
Global HR Business Partner,
Syngenta

 

 
Session 6

Learning and Action Session

Review your learning from the day and actions to take post the conference.

 
Networking Session

Drinks and Connections Time

Find mentors, role models and collaborators to achieve your aspirations for home, work and world.

 

5th December 2017 - Delivering, Influencing and Performing as a M.A.D. Leader

Registration, breakfast and informal networking 8.30am – 9.15am

The day begins with breakfast and networking with the opportunity to meet your new peer group of like minded women from across industries, ages and social backgrounds. Exchange ideas, find mentors, role models and supporters for your M.A.D. aspirations, projects and goals.

 
Optional Breakfast Session

Mindfulness Practice for a M.A.D. Life, Career and World

Learning Objectives: Self care is a critical skill set of M.A.D. Leaders. Develop your physical, mental and spiritual tool kit for a M.A.D life, work and world.

 
Session 7

Learning and Development Session: Leading and Influencing Others

Learning Objective: Gain a specific ‘how to’ tool kit for influencing, communicating and leading others; how to gain buy in and manage people, teams and projects more effectively.

Dr Sam Collins,
CEO and Founder Aspire,
Trailblazing Women

 

 
Session 8

CEO Interviews with Dr Sam Collins:

Translating Your Ideas and Knowledge into Action and Gaining Buy-In from Others

Learning Objectives: Gain an insight into the real life reality of M.A.D. Leaders. How have they achieved what they have? What steps did they take? What strategies did they follow? How did they overcome their fears and obstacles?

Beth Butterwick,
CEO,
Karen Millen

 

Penny Woods,
Chief Executive,
British Lung Foundation

 

Kate Newhouse,
CEO
Doctor Care Anywhere

 

 
Optional Lunch Time Session - Aspire Book Club

Join Dr Sam Collins, CEO of Aspire, with your favourite M.A.D. book. Share ideas and trade the books that inspire, empower and lead women to greatness around the world. Dr Collins will share how and why she wrote her own international best seller, “Radio Heaven”, her top tips for how to write a book and do a book signing.

 
Session 9

Interactive Session: The Power of your Network

  

Learning Objectives: Improve your networking skills, learn about the critical importance of mentors sponsors and role models.  participate in a session to help others and receive the help you need to achieve your goals.

 
Session 10

Young M.A.D. Role Models - The power and impact of being a Young ‘M.A.D.’ leader at home, school and in the world

Sophia Zahra, age 19,
Young Carers Support Worker, YMCA
and Digital Marketing Manager, Young Scientists Journal

 

Jenny Raw, age 18,
Human Rights Activist,
National Council of Women Great Britain

 

Rachel Wibberley, age18,
Nottingham Girls' High School

 

Sara Fernandez Schmidt, age 15,
Student,
St Francis College

 

Destiny Manning-Wong, age 16,
Deputy Head Girl,
Stockport Academy High School

 

 
Session 11

Learning Session - Strategic Thinking & Time Leadership Skills to Make a Difference

Learning Objectives: Learn skills to move from busy and day to day to being a successful strategic leader of your time, life and career. Gain tools to make sure you follow through on your commitments post event, keep your energy high, say no effectively and take time every day to think and be strategic.

 
Session 12

Interactive Session: The M.A.D. Leadership Finale 

Learning Objectives: Celebrate, connect and collaborate to create your tangible action plans and have the accountability to achieve your goals post the conference. Leave M.A.D. Leadership inspired, empowered and ready!  Drinks, networking and connections time complete the experience.

 
Networking Session

Drinks and Connections Time

Relax and network with a new network of like minded women leaders from across industries and backgrounds.

 

Kate Newhouse
CEO Doctor Care Anywhere

Kate is the CEO of Doctor Care Anywhere, a clinically-led, doctor-founded, global digital healthcare company, serving over 100,000 patients around the world. Kate is responsible for the commercial strategy and business development and was instrumental in developing relationships with AXA PPP Healthcare, Legal & General, Nuffield Health, AON and Aetna International with whom Doctor Care Anywhere now serve over 100 corporate clients worldwide.

Previously Kate worked as a Strategy Consultant with over ten years' experience, notably at Roland Berger, Tribal Group and BDO where she built key expertise in business strategy, customer insight and digital delivery of services with specialist knowledge of local government, health and education sectors. Kate also worked at Outcomes Based Healthcare and Enjoy Education before joining Doctor Care Anywhere.

Kate won Disruptor of the Year in 2016 at the First Woman Awards and Innovator of the Year in 2017 at the Everywoman Women in Technology awards. 

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Serena Owoeye, age 14
TBC

Photo and bio to follow

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Rebecca Prosser
Documentary Filmmaker

Rebecca has 10 years’ experience working as a documentary filmmaker across the world. Her films platform the voices of people on the fringes of society, exploring the lives of a diverse range of people from LGBT refugees and drug traffickers to Indonesian pirates and pie throwing sex workers. Her practice is developed out of a genuine curiosity about the similarities we all have as people and she approaches each of her subjects with considered compassion. This year, she has started exploring the field of virtual reality documentary production. Her films have been recognised by the One World Media Awards and shown on BBC, Vice, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic and History Channel.

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Natalie Prosser
Director of Legal, Ofqual

Natalie is a public lawyer and is currently Director of Legal at Ofqual, the qualifications and examinations regulator for England. Over the last few years she has been closely involved in the reform programmes for GCSEs and A-Levels and is now working on apprenticeships and T-Levels development programmes. Natalie also has overall responsibility for Ofqual’s enforcement actions, including financial penalties and other statutory sanctions. Natalie qualified as a solicitor at City law firm Norton Rose and prior to moving in-house, she worked in private practice where she was a media litigator. 

Natalie is a mother of two (Patrick, aged 8 and Leila, aged 5) and spends what little spare time she has training for and competing in long distance open water swimming events.

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Maria Bondareva
Global HR Business Partner, Syngenta

Maria was born in Siberia and studied Economics and Sociology there, before moving to Moscow where she studied Organisational Psychology and Counselling. She has worked as a head-hunter, a trainer and a people manager in HR with and for national and international companies such as Astra-Zeneca.

She now works for Syngenta where she has moved from Eastern European roles to Europe/Africa/Middle East region roles and then to a Global one - bringing various change projects to life, working with top leaders in the organisation to understand market trends and to build a strategy contributing to a way to feed the world.

Maria has a passionate belief in people and their potential, in "togetherness", in talents and helping others to achieve great results. When people say "is it possible?", Maria thinks "why not just try and see and learn"? 

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Penny Woods
Chief Executive, British Lung Foundation

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Beth Butterwick
CEO, Karen Millen

Bio to follow

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Sarah Kitakule
Adviser, Gender and Economic Empowerment, The Commonwealth Secretariat

Sarah is a strong advocate for women’s economic empowerment and girls’ education. Her recent professional life is centered on advocating for gender equality. She has been a board member of several women’s networks, has provided leadership to private sector associations and, most specifically, was the elected Chairperson of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association for three years. She has mentored young professionals and her contribution was recognised when she was nominated for the British Council Woman Professional of the Year Award.

Sarah has over 25 years’ experience working with several international organisations: the World Bank/International Finance Corporation, United States Agency for International Development and the International Labour Organisation.

She credits her success to her parents who believed in educating their girls in spite of opposition from friends and family. She is an aspiring entrepreneur who believes in not giving up in spite of the many obstacles. She has co-authored a book on the resilience of women entrepreneurs in Uganda titled ‘Above the Odds: A Decade of Change for Ugandan Women Entrepreneurs’.

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Helen Tite
Social Entrepreneur Core Health Consultancy

Helen is a former graphic and interior designer and now a Wellness professional, mentor and coach in fitness in the corporate and care sectors.

The Dyslexic, Unemployable Girl Comes Good and she’s moved from sadness to sassiness. Being Happy, Healthy and Hangry drives Helen to make a difference and she says there was never a box to think outside of in her world. 

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Erin Northey
CEO of EducAid Sierra Leone

Erin is the chief executive of EducAid Sierra Leone, an organisation that runs schools and trains teachers in Sierra Leone. She is a graduate of Smith College and has a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Brown University.

A former English teacher, Erin is a firm believer in the transformational power of education and the importance of authenticity. She has had a number of leadership roles since moving to London, including being the editor of FOCUS Magazine and the president of the Junior League of London, an organisation dedicated to developing the potential of women and building communities. She also serves as a Trustee of the Hackney Pirates. 

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Alison Bates
Director of Application Performance and Delivery (IT), Avis Budget Group

Alison is a complex being – a mum, wife, daughter, sister, IT Director and perhaps even a psychologist ‘wannabe’. On a daily basis Alison strives to ‘have it all’ and with the support of her amazing son, husband and close family, she usually manages to achieve this and continues to learn, develop and (hopefully) inspire future generations.

Alison believes in the positives and in providing the opportunity for everyone to excel; exploiting strengths, and working with a growth mindset to deliver continual improvement and beneficial change. Alison is very interested in positive parenting and the link between positive mental health and performance in life.

Alison is a change leader, working with MDs and ‘C’ level executives delivering transformational business change. Her key strengths include her transparent communication and collaborative style - coupled with her ability to think, act and learn quickly, this has helped Alison to deliver multi-million dollar solutions across complex, global organisations.

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Nicky Young
Group Managing Director, MullenLowe Salt Communications and PR

Nicky is Group Managing Director of salt, a strategic consultancy that delivers positive change through communications. Founded in 2000, salt has offices in London and Singapore. Working directly with two co-founders Richard Cox and Andrew Last, Nicky has grown the company to 45 employees with a 2016 gross profit of £4.5 million.

During her time at salt, Nicky has carved out a specialism in corporate & change communications and employee engagement. She has particular expertise cascading complex business strategy within global organisations in a simple and engaging manner. Working closely with c-suite leadership, Nicky implements business processes that drive positive change. Her MD experience, psychology degree and 16 years’ experience of consulting for the employment services industry ensures a people-centric approach coupled with business savviness to all her work.

Nicky is a mum, a passionate Italian/South African and advocate of women in leadership.

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Zareen Roohi Ahmed
Academic, Humanitarian and Company Founder & CEO of Gift Wellness Ltd

Zareen is the Founder & CEO of Gift Wellness Ltd, manufacturing and distributing an award-winning range of natural feminine hygiene products. The GIFT range is currently the fastest growing feminine hygiene brand in Europe and is a best seller in Holland & Barrett. Most importantly, due to Zareen’s commitment to helping women in crisis, over half a million pads have been donated to homeless and refugee women as well as to foodbanks across the UK, as part of her BUY1 GIFT1 programme.

Gift Wellness and a wide range of charitable enterprises are all part of Zareen’s vision to fulfil the dreams of her daughter who was tragically murdered in 2007. Zareen’s achievements are an example of how to channel negative energy following a tragedy into something amazing, simply by focusing on helping others.

Zareen’s PhD explores the role of Muslim women in British society and over a career spanning 25 years, she has held several senior roles.

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Geordan Shannon
Doctor and Research Fellow, Institute for Global Health, University College London

Geordan is an Australian medical doctor and Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Health, University College London. She is currently completing her doctoral research in gender and health metrics, exploring the construction of an individualised gender equality measure in Peru using existing household survey data. Prior to commencing her PhD, she attended the University of Cambridge (Master of Philosophy in Public Health (Hon.) 2011) the University of Geneva (Advanced Certificate in Health and Human Rights, 2011) and the University of Newcastle Australia (Bachelor of Medicine (Hon.) 2008).

Geordan is affiliated with the UCL Economics of Global Health and UCL Gender and Global Health Groups. She is engaged with a participatory action research project against gender violence led by a network of community health volunteers in the Peruvian Amazon and also oversees a complex community intervention to improve the quality of service engagement for homeless Indigenous Australians.

Geordan concurrently works as the Medical Director of the NGO DB Peru and is the Co-Founder of Global Health Disrupted, an organisation that enhances global health communication through research, technology and the arts. She has worked as a global medic in various settings including remote Indigenous Australia, post-Tsunami Sri Lanka, the Peruvian Amazon and rural Kenya.

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Sarah de los Rios
Commercial and Marketing Director, Altro

Sarah has been Commercial and Marketing Director for Altro since 2011. Altro is a third-generation family run UK manufacturer based in Hertfordshire and operating worldwide that manufactures and sells commercial floor and wall coverings to the Healthcare, Transport, Education and Hospitality sectors. Sarah has had a leadership role in the globalisation of the business, overseas acquisitions, long term strategic planning and the development and set up of the Altro Foundation focussing on healthcare solutions for vulnerable communities. Her previous roles include Head of Marketing, European Commercial Manager and Business Development Manager for Latin America.

Sarah’s first degree was an MA joint honours in Spanish and Portuguese with French from the University of Edinburgh and she completed an MBA in 2005. Prior to Altro she was based in Latin America for 2.5 years between Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Colombia. Now based in North London and married with three daughters under ten, Sarah’s continual drive is to combine her passions of family, education, opportunity for girls/women, travel, business success in the context of a clear agenda of corporate social responsibility and doing her bit to improve equality in the world.

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Caron Bradshaw
Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group

Caron is Chief Executive of Charity Finance Group. She joined CFG in June 2010 from the ICAEW, where she was Head of the Charity and Voluntary Sector. In addition to supporting a number of small charities and community organisations Caron is a member of the NCVO’s National Assembly, sits on the Charities SORP Committee, on a number of government working parties, is a member of the BBC Charity Appeals Advisory Committee and is on the board of the Directory of Social Change. She is named in the ‘Top 30 UK Social Influences’ in Risk, Compliance and Regtech 2017.

Caron is a trained Barrister and has a wide array of experience across charity, regulation/law, policy, member support and professional ethics. In 2015 she was named Charity Principal of the Year at the Charity Times Awards. In 2016 she received the Association Excellence Award for Leadership.

Caron is an avidly ‘social’ CEO and was been named in the ‘Top 30 Social CEOs’ in 2013, 2014 and 2015 before joining the judging panel in 2016.

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Claire Green
Security Industry Expert - Office for Security & Counter Terrorism at the Home Office, Hart Security UK Limited

Photo and bio awaited

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Kirsty Keck
Director of Strategy and Operational Performance, Nationwide Building Society

Kirsty began her career in Human Resources in 2001 and has spent the last 12 years focused on leadership, talent and cultural development. From her role as a leader at Nationwide, to the time she spends on her pro bono coaching and mentoring people from all walks of life from all over the world, her philanthropic endeavours running marathons and riding bikes, to her determination to be (a great) single mum to Jasper and Marnie, she is trying to make a difference.

She is a 2017 finalist for the Leader of the Year Award at Nationwide, during a time immense change for the society and has continued to lead with strong moral values, with her community achieving the highest employee engagement scores in the society. She obtained a part-time Exec MSc in International Human Resource Management in 2008 from Cranfield School of Management.

Kirsty lives in the Cotswolds with her partner and two children.

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Jane Howson
Chief Executive, Autism East Midlands

Jane has worked across the public and third sectors for over 25 years, has a masters degree from York University and four sons, including a 23 year old with autism. Jane took up her post as Chief Executive with Autism East Midlands (formerly Norsaca) in September 2013. Since then the organisation has been undergoing a period of significant change aimed at improving financial viability and quality of services-in addition to the name change.

Jane is a Trustee and Chair of the Autism Alliance UK. This is a national alliance of charities providing services for people with autism. The Alliance aims to improve both choice and quality of the support and services available. The Alliance works with government agencies and other bodies of influence, to ensure that Autistic people have an effective voice. As part of this work Jane co-chairs the Cross Sector Partnership with Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society.

Jane’s previous roles include managing investigations at the Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and leading a General Medicine Department in a District General Hospital. Immediately prior to joining Autism East Midlands Jane was Business Development Director at Linkage Community Trust.

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Lesley Batchelor, OBE
Director General, Institute of Export & International Trade

Lesley is a champion of UK exporters, with a powerful track record in enhancing the performance of hundreds of businesses and in 2007 she was appointed Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT). Active on the APPG Advisory Panel on Trade & Investment, the APP Manufacturing Group, she is also a director of International Business & Diplomatic Exchange and the International Association of Trade Training Organisations.

After 15 years working with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe, Canon, Ciba-Geigy and Coca-Cola, Lesley set up CMC Marketing in 1992 to develop inspirational overseas strategies and international training programmes for SMEs.

Lesley is a graduate of the Institute of Export & International Trade qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Awarded an OBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours List, Lesley was named as the CBI/Real Business First Woman in Business Services for 2015 and CEO of the Year for the Trade Association Congress 2015. 

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Destiny Manning-Wong, age 16
Deputy Head Girl, Stockport Academy High School

Destiny is 16 years old and in her final year of high school. She is Deputy Head Girl of Stockport Academy High School and holds a lot of other titles in school such as Gold Tie - Senior Prefect, Peer Mentor, Anti Bullying Ambassador, GLAM (Girl Leadership And Marketing) Squad, Hospitality Team Member, Form and Netball Captain to name but a few. She has also won a number of awards: two Princess Diana Awards for Anti Bullying and Being a Good Role Model, a James Conaway award - for caring for others and Sports Woman of the Year. Destiny has achieved all of this since losing her mother half way through her 1st year of high school. Destiny loves helping others and is keen to become a better version of herself. Destiny has aspirations to become an accountant and eventually open her own accountancy firm.

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Sara Fernandez Schmidt, age 15
Student, St Francis College

Sara is a 15-year-old student from London, England. She currently attends St. Francis College. Her father and mother are of Spanish and German descent and Sara is therefore fluent in both languages. Her interests include fitness, travel, charity work, reading and cooking. In 2015, she travelled to Bosnia, taking part in the annual march commemorating the Genocide that took place in 1995. This summer she visited Rwanda and learned more about the country’s recent history as well as meeting women enrolled in the Women for Women International programme.

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Rachel Wibberley, age18
Nottingham Girls' High School

Making a difference motivates Rachel. She wants to have a role in shaping the world for others and has recently had the opportunity to represent the National Council for Women at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations.

Whilst volunteering in a women's empowerment centre and girls’ orphanage in India, Rachel gained a deeper understanding of the inequality of the status of women. Rachel has spoken in national debates in the House of Commons and she is able to listen to the voices of young people from each constituency of the UK and represent their voices on a national scale. Her current experiences, enthusiasm and desire to promote women's rights inspire Rachel to put words into action and work towards a brighter future for women across the world.

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Jenny Raw, age 18
Human Rights Activist, National Council of Women Great Britain

Jenny was Head Girl at Nottingham Girls’ High School, where she led a team of 12 Prefects to organise regular events in school and in the local community. This empowered Jenny to take on a leading role in the National Council of Young Women at school and she was recently invited to join their Management Committee. She is now the first ever Youth Representative to this non-governmental organisation; she works to increase youth engagement in human rights by visiting schools around the country and using social media platforms. She takes a leading role in organising seminars and conferences and is often asked to attend national and international events. In March, Jenny was accredited to attend the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women 61 in New York, where she gave a speech about ‘leaving no one behind’ when implementing Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 8. She received a grant from the Girls’ Day School Trust to attend and was interviewed by The Metro about what feminism means to young people. She is now a regular blogger for the Huffington Post UK’s ‘Youth Voices’ section, where she writes about issues affecting young people today. Jenny was also selected to work on a Cabinet Office initiative, where she became a Young Community Leader, selecting exceptional volunteers in the East Midlands to be nominated for a national award. The team she led at the Girls' Day School Trust Young Leaders' Conference campaigned for the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust and won their charity’s category, where she learnt about the important work of charities and NGOs internationally. She also received Second Prize in their Human Rights Essay Competition. Jenny hopes to spend her gap year before university, and her career, advocating the human rights of others and inspiring young people to understand the importance of gender equality.

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Sophia Zahra, age 19
Young Carers Support Worker, YMCA and Digital Marketing Manager, Young Scientists Journal

Sophia works as a Young Carers Support Worker at the YMCA and is also an A-level student self-studying Maths and Biology part-time. She is passionate about mental health and so volunteers as a Young Champion to raise awareness and battle stigma as part of the Time to Change charity. Sophia is also Digital Marketing Manager for Young Scientists Journal, the world's only peer reviewed science journal for 12-20 year olds, where she manages the Social Media team and coordinates wider communication with press and subscribers. Sophia is 19 years old, and lives in Swansea, Wales.

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Dr Sam Collins
CEO and Founder Aspire, Trailblazing Women

Sam founded Aspire in 2001 when she was just 30 years old and it is now a globally sought-after organisation that enables women leaders to thrive through leadership development, coaching and events. The Aspire Foundation, the not-for-profit arm launched in 2010, is integral to Aspire’s way of doing business. Its pro-bono mentoring programme works in 80 countries and has already made a positive difference to the lives of over 9 million women and girls across the world.

Sam is an expert in the fields of women’s leadership and gender diversity within the business world and is also an active campaigner on the role of business in solving world economic and social issues, supporting families after suicide, the developing world orphan crisis and empowering women as business leaders in developing and emerging economies. Originally from the UK and passionate about family and life balance, Sam now lives in Southern California with her family.

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Dr Sam Collins
CEO and Founder Aspire, Trailblazing Women

Award-winning leadership expert, social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, coach and author, Dr Sam Collins is synonymous with M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Women Leaders and is a leading global voice on women as leaders and change agents for workplaces, organisational culture and community impact. Sam has been named one of the 'Top 200 Women to Impact Business & Industry' by Her Majesty, The Queen, one of the 'Top 10 Coaches' by The Independent and 'Leader in the Workplace' in the Ogûnte Women's Social Leadership Awards.

She has worked with over 25,000 women leaders from global corporations, small business, government and non profits over the past 14 years and has contributed to The Financial Times, The Guardian, CNN, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times and the BBC. She has contributed to 'Focus on Africa' on the BBC World Service and was a 'Micro Genius' for Psychologies Magazine.

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Rachel Dent
Head of The Abbey School for Girls

Rachel Dent has just completed her first year as Head of The Abbey School, responsible for the education of more than 1000 girls - a job she describes as "the best in the world".

Educated in a girls’ school herself, Rachel found her vocation in teaching while travelling in Egypt. Her career has seen her progress from Teacher of English and Drama, to Head of Department in co-ed and single sex schools. She became Director of Sixth Form in 2006, which allowed her to develop her expertise in guiding students through some of the most important life and career choices that they will make. She is now Head of one of the UK's most prestigious girls' schools. Her deep experience of educating girls brings a fresh and frank perspective to the challenges and opportunities for today's young women to live fulfilling lives as leaders.

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7 Ways to Help You Move Forward

Feeling stuck? Sometimes all it takes to move forward, even take gentle baby steps, is an encouraging word in your ear. Aspire’s CEO, Dr Sam Collins, offers seven simple pieces of wisdom to help you move to the next level.

Read more >>