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Girls in the Lead

Mulberry has been working in partnership with The Female Lead, an organisation who are striving to provide a more diverse range of female role models for girls and young women.

On Tuesday 3rd May, we participated in a short film The Female Lead made to raise awareness of why girls themselves want access to a broader range of role models. Mulberry girls from Years 9, 10 and 11 were asked their opinions on which women mainstream media chooses to platform, and why; who their own role models are, and whether they feel those role models get enough positive media attention; and why they think role models are important.

Students talked about a range of issues, including the way that women’s bodies are over-sexualised by the media, and their achievements and intellect underplayed; and the way in which female athletes and intellectuals are not given as much attention as actresses, singers and TV stars.

Ayesha Begum 11L, Anika Chowdhury 10L, Moriom Abdin 10Y, and Shaima Begum 9E gave mature and insightful answers to all of the interview questions, helping to create a film that gets right to the heart of this issue.

On Wednesday 8th June, three of our incoming Year 9 prefects were invited to attend a panel event hosted by The Female Lead at the offices of the ad tech company Unruly on Princelet Street, E1. Hosted by Bea Appleby, Editor at The Female Lead, the panel discussed the importance of role modelling in the lives of young women, the current lack of a diverse range of role models drawn from different career sectors and life backgrounds, and the likely positive impacts of raising a generation of girls who have regular access to a range of inspiring female role models. Our Head Teacher Dr Vanessa Ogden spoke on the panel, advocating for the importance of role models who reflect girls’ specific backgrounds: she said that role modelling is most effective when a girl’s role models come from an ethnic, cultural and/or socio-economic background similar to her own, because that provides her with clear proof that she can be successful.

Our newly elected Head Prefect of the Lower School, Mahreen Chaiwalla 9E, joined the panel in the second half of the event to give her own perspective on the importance of role models to young women, and how her own role models have enriched her life.

Our thanks go to The Female Lead for platforming the voices of Mulberry girls and championing girls’ right to a successful and happy future!