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WOW Festival Arrives in Bradford

A large group of female staff and students pose outside the entrance of the Bradford College David Hockney Building holding Women of the World (WOW) Festival merchandise.

In a bid to inspire the next generation of young people, WOW – Women of the World brought their WOW Girls Festival Bus to Bradford.

The WOW Foundation is a worldwide movement with the mission of celebrating women and girls, exploring the obstacles they face through festivals from Brisbane to Beijing. Founded in 2010 by Jude Kelly, the charity WOW supports work to achieve a gender equal world.

As part of the WOW Girls Festival celebrations, Bradford College hosted around 50 female professionals and students for a special speed mentoring session in the David Hockney Building.

Students were treated to three 15-minute meets with women from across different sectors, as a chance to seek empowerment, inspiration, and support.

Cathryn Fenton, WOW Project Manager, said:

“We’ve been so happy to work with Bradford College, the engagement and turn out has been amazing. We’ve been working across Bradford all week and have found the people want to talk and learn from each other; this is so important within a community.

“The young people here get an opportunity to talk to people from all different walks of life. All the mentors come from various different fields and have taken their own unique path to get to where they are now. Being able to see all these different routes is reassuring to the girls and shows they can take their own path to find success.”

Following a lunch in The Grove training restaurant, goodie bags were handed out from Bradford College before mentors and mentees visited the University of Bradford campus for the second part of the day. This provided the opportunity to climb aboard the famous ‘WOW Girls Festival Bus’.

The Bus is an interactive space created with and for young people, working with Getaway Girls in Leeds and artist Emma Hardaker. On the bus, visitors enter a creative exploration of gender equity, through play, reading, digital experiences and a recording studio.

Alina Khan, Bradford College Vice Principal for EDI & Student Experience, said:

“We’ve been extremely lucky to work with WOW this year and bring the concept of speed mentoring to Bradford. It is so nice to be in a room full of inspiring women and girls! Women can been catalysts for change, shattering stereotypes and defying expectations but despite remarkable strides that have been made towards gender equality, there is still much work to be done.

“Events like this are a reminder that we all have a role to play in creating a more just, equal, and inclusive world for future generations. Let’s commit ourselves to breaking down barriers, challenging injustice, and building a brighter future where every person can thrive.”

This event came as part of a series of events marking International Women’s Day, as well as the ongoing campaign to support Women and Girls in STEM. Find out more about everything exciting going on at Bradford College by visiting the events calendar.

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