SNP MSP for Cunningham South, Ruth Maguire, has called on secondary schools from across Cunninghame South to register to attend an event designed to empower a new generation of young women.

Several inspirational and successful female leaders will address S5 girls from all over Scotland at a free one-day conference in Edinburgh on Friday 22nd September.

Every secondary school in Scotland has been invited to nominate up to four female pupils aged between 15 and 17 years old to attend September’s Future AS5ET event, which is a partnership between financial education charity Didasko and various investment management firms coordinated by Stewart Investors. The organisers are determined that no school is prevented from sending pupils to this event and is offering generous financial contributions towards travel for schools based outside of Midlothian and accommodation for those located more than 100 miles away. To date, 336 pupils from 84 schools have registered to attend the event.

Keynote speakers at the inaugural Future AS5ET conference are Jayne-Anne Gadhia CBE, chief executive of Virgin Money, Jenny Garrett, founder of “Rocking your Role”, and Mary Duffy, former national head of BBC Children in Need. They will share their experiences and encourage the young women attending to have the confidence to go out and grab the career opportunities available to them, particularly in the financial services sector.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend panel discussions, seminars, and interactive workshops, all of which will emphasise that gender should never be seen as a barrier to career progression and that the world is their oyster, regardless of their background or qualifications. The conference’s strapline is “Calling all S5 girls who know they can change the world, and just as importantly, those who don’t.”

Commenting, Ruth said:

“We want to encourage as many girls as possible from around Scotland to follow their dreams and that is why I am calling on S5 girls across Cunninghame South to go along to the Future AS5ET event, to take confidence from the achievements of the speakers, and to share in a collective sense of empowerment for what they can go on to achieve in life and their career.

“With a majority of female party leaders in the Scottish Parliament, Scotland is leading by example in showing to young girls that their hopes and ambitions should have no bounds and this conference can further inspire them in what is a brilliantly exciting time in their young lives.”

Jayne-Anne Gadhia CBE, chief executive of Virgin Money and Patron of the Future AS5ET conference, said:

“I am delighted to be Patron of the Future AS5ET Conference. The business case for fairness, equality and inclusion is clearer than ever. Events such as the Future AS5ET Conference can play an important role in inspiring participants to take advantage of the many opportunities available in financial services and support a strong pipeline of talent for the future. Supporting and engaging women at all levels is essential to drive productivity in the industry, better reflect the society it serves and critical to its long-term success. I am sure that this event will inspire participants to take advantage of the opportunities available.”

Angus Tulloch, convenor of the Future AS5ET conference, said:

“Events like this one can play an important role in inspiring participants to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them, in financial services and beyond. By inviting S5 girls from the length and breadth of Scotland, we hope to develop confidence nationwide and to expand the horizons of female school pupils as they begin to consider their career options.”

Every secondary school in Scotland is invited to nominate up to four girls who will be in S5 this September and one teacher to attend the free, one-day FUTURE AS5ET conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) on Friday 22nd September. The registration is now open and further information is available on FUTURE AS5ET website:

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