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Nescot is marking International Women’s Day celebrating women in varied roles and industry sectors.

During the week, Nescot Principal, Julie Kapsalis hosted an International Women’s Day networking lunch for over 30 female business leaders from varied industry sectors. They were treated to a delicious lunch prepared and served by our catering students at the college’s on-site training restaurant, ‘Food for Thought’ followed by a college tour which included the newly opened Sussex and Surrey Institute of Technology at Nescot.

Some of the business leaders shared their thoughts and offered advice. Guest speaker, Helen Cannon, Founder & CEO of ISON Travel, said: “It was an amazing afternoon of networking with business women from different sectors. It’s great that Nescot is bringing businesses together through events like these and well done to the catering students for a delicious lunch. My advice to anyone looking to get into the travel industry is to explore the wide variety of roles available that they may not be aware of and to believe in yourself.”

Maria Reeves, Director, The Horton Arts Centre added: “It was great to connect with women from different sectors and the lunch was superb. Young people wanting to work in the cultural sector should think about volunteering as a first step. It gives valuable experience in a professional environment and insight into the range of roles that may be open to them in the future – some of which they may never have heard of.”

“It was inspirational to meet and hear from women in such varied industry sectors”, commented Julie Kapsalis. "The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is Inspire Inclusion. Across the College we have women working and studying in areas from construction to computing who are role models for other young women looking to get into similar careers.”

Some of our inspirational students also attended the lunch and shared their thoughts. Jackie who is a City & Guilds Diploma in Plumbing Studies student said, “To any woman thinking of becoming a plumber I would say just go for it! There are short courses to try if you’re unsure if it’s the right fit. Don’t be deterred by the traditional male dominance in the industry, everyone I have met has been welcoming and supportive.”

Joey, one of our Carpentry and Joinery apprentices who works at Ridgeback Projects Ltd, spoke about her career decision, “It's definitely not a man's world in this industry. You're really valued as you have a completely different approach." You can watch a video of her speaking to Julie at a recent on-site visit here.

Madiha, who is part of the Computing team at Nescot said, “I have always had an interest in Computing and it’s great to be able to do something I enjoy. I have even undertaken some Distance Learning courses to enhance my knowledge in this field. For anyone with an interest looking to get into Computing, I would say don’t hesitate, learning is for life and builds your confidence.”

Rupa who is a PGCE Trainee Teacher in Computing also felt that if you have an interest, there’s no reason not to get into computing. “It’s an added qualification as it’s needed in any area and field of work,” she said.

Students across the college also had the opportunity to participate in International Women’s Day activities. These included a guest talk from the charity, ‘Everyone’s Invited’ followed by a screening of Barbie at the college’s theatre. A Wellness Coffee and Cake Morning was also organised for staff and students with refreshments provided by Foundation Students, and Hair & Beauty students offered hand and arm messages. All proceeds were donated to the charity, ‘Everyone’s Invited’.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. Find out more here.