Hulme Grammar students, staff and alumni come together to celebrate International Women’s Day

Date published: 20 March 2021

March 8 was always going to be a busy date for schools, being the first day back for all pupils since January, but that didn’t stop Oldham Hulme celebrating International Women’s Day 2021.

Nearly 100 students, alumni and staff gathered online to listen to a panel of three inspirational alumnae, and local MP Debbie Abrahams, and pose questions to them about their experiences as women in leadership in their varied careers.

Also joining the panel were Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon (the school’s local MP) and school Principal Craig Mairs, because IWD is not just for women, it is an all inclusive movement celebrating women’s achievements and equality.

Panellists Sandra Cox, Head of National Markets Tax for KPMG, Dr Jenny Lunn, Director of Publications at the American Geophysical Union and Group Captain Claire O’Grady in the Royal Air Force, were all Hulme students in the 80s and 90s and have gone on to have exceptional careers.

They talked openly about their experiences and lives since leaving school, how they thought school prepared them and how they viewed their lives as women in leadership positions.

They gave the audience real food for thought and the students found their stories resonated because they had started out exactly where they are now.

The event, chaired by teacher and Academic Mentor Hannah Plews, was the first time the school has delivered an online event to students and alumni together.

Hannah said: “We are already planning more events of this type for students and alumni.

"Alumni particularly appreciated the ability to join a school event remotely and are looking forward to more of the same.

"And our students really enjoyed hearing from former students”.

Principal Mr Mairs said: “To be able to put on an event like this, especially on the first day back for schools after a national lockdown, was fantastic.

"We know that we have some amazing alumni, and meeting three of them on International Women’s Day with such a wide Hulme audience was a real privilege."

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