From education to employment

College students hear from inspiring women

To celebrate and raise awareness of International Women’s Day 2022, Barnsley College’s Enterprise department organised a day packed full of motivating talks, workshops, presentations and activities from a range of inspirational female speakers.

To kick-start the day, students heard from the Deputy Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Sarah-Jane Tattersall. Councillor Tattersall spoke to students about her journey into civic duties and how she used her strength and resilience to form her own opinions and create her own path in life. She shared stories of some of the hardship she has faced being a woman in a position of power as well as insight into working alongside the community in what has previously been a male-dominated industry.

Councillor Tattersall told students: “If you want to achieve something, only you can make it happen. Be true to yourself, never forget who you are, never let anyone take anything away from you and be determined; if you fail it doesn’t matter, tomorrow is a new day to do something great.”

Collette Evans, founder of Picture Perfect Photography and body building champion, delivered an exciting workshop about her journey into fitness and how she prepares for competitions. Collette discussed her interest in health and fitness and told students how she turned this childhood passion into a career as she qualified as a nutritional therapist in 2017, picked up bodybuilding during the pandemic and won the British Championship in 2021.

Lauren Woodwiss, ocean rower, was also amongst the panel of guest speakers. Lauren shared her incredible story participating in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, travelling 3,000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua in just 50 days, breaking a world record.

Lauren discussed the barriers she and her rowing partner overcame throughout the challenge, shared stories from the trip and explained to students the importance of remaining focused on a goal. Her main messages encouraged students to be strong against the fear of failure, ignore negativity, set realistic goals and work hard.

Lauren is also Founder of Frontier Sapiens Film Festival, a global touring festival showing inspiring films of human endeavour and achievement. The Frontier Sapiens Film Festival is coming to Barnsley College on Tuesday 15 March, 5.00pm – 7.30pm.

Students also heard from Julie Tweedale and Elaine Howard, Founders of Freedom Personal Safety; Captain Suzy Morgan, Airline Captain; and Jemma Hall, Freelance Broadcast Journalist and Marketing, Communications and PR Assistant at Barnsley College.

In addition to the guest speaker workshops, students were also invited to take part in activities to raise awareness of International Women’s Day. The College’s Health and Wellbeing Team created a Tiki Bar in the Wellbeing Garden and invited students to talk about women’s health, and the Digital Transformation Team worked with the Students’ Union to create a Virtual Reality session allowing students to experience walking in a women’s march.

For more information about the Frontier Sapiens Film Festival at Barnsley College or to register for your free place, visit:

Related Articles