Birmingham Adult Education Service recently hosted our first International Women’s Day Conference at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The conference embodied this year’s theme for International Women’s Day of Inspire Inclusion. We welcomed Kalvinder Kohli from Birmingham City Council, Clare Hatton from the West Midlands Combined Authority and Councillor Suleman, who along with other speakers shared their personal stories with the audience.

Guest speakers talked from personal experience about the barriers they have needed to overcome in order to achieve success. On the day a wide range of important topics were discussed such as mental health, neurodiversity, and the struggles women can often face when moving into managerial positions.

The audience were treated to an outstanding display of bravery from current learner, Ruthie Cunliffe. She gave an incredibly brave, heart-warming, and powerful speech about her experience of homelessness and domestic violence. Ruthie stole the show with a performance of a self-written song, called No More, and was met with a standing ovation and shouts of support from learners, staff, and other guest speakers.

Over 100 learners attended the conference and engaged with guest speakers by asking them further questions in a fascinating Questions and Answers session.

Kalvinder Kohli from Birmingham City Council said,

“I met some amazing adult learners and heard so many inspiring journeys. And together, we celebrated our successes and reflected on the life moments where we have no choice but to continue to challenge gender discrimination and continue to take action for gender parity”.

Learners had lots to say about the event and clearly left feeling inspired and empowered by all they had seen and heard.

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