Celebrating International Women’s Day at the School of Business and Law
On Wednesday 8 March – International Women’s Day, we welcomed Teju Akande, Anaïs Sosson and Aaron Eckhoff to Elm House for our Women in Leadership event.
Students, staff and alumni joined us for a CPD development session with Aaron, using lego serious play to aid conversation in showcasing equity – linking to this year’s #EmbraceEquity theme of the day.
The development session was followed by talks from our keynote speakers Teju Akande and Anaïs Sosson.
Teju is an accomplished business woman and international trade specialist. In her current role at the Department of International Trade, she was responsible for publishing the UK Business Guide to Net Zero report in 2021.
Outside of her role in the energy and infrastructure, she is also the author of a children’s book titled Stand Tall, about race, diversity and self-worth.
“International Women’s Day is about raising voices and shining a light. My hope for the future is not to need to celebrate International Women’s Day,” said Teju.
“I’m most proud of writing my children’s book. Almost one year ago my son experienced racial abuse.”
After experiencing inequality in the education system and acknowledging the advice she’d given her son didn’t work in the situation, Teju decided to effect change in her own corner of the world.
“In May last year I released a children’s book. My children felt empowered and had new knowledge of how to deal in these situations.”
Teju shared her advice for others wanting to effect change in their corner of society:
- Have a plan – decide on your goal and map out how you’ll achieve this.
- Choose courage over comfort – don’t be afraid to stand alone.
- Be generous – embrace equity and see the situation from different perspectives.
“In considering other perspectives, we will think differently and come up with other solutions,” she shared.
Teju’s final piece of advice? “Make sure it’s the decision you want to make because challenges will come.”
Teju’s keynote talk was followed by another guest talk from barrister and Brighton Law School alumni Anaïs Sosson, who talked about her work with charity Bringing [Dis] Ability to the Bar.
“The Bar is not as inclusive as it should be, we still have some way to go…but the numbers are improving every year” Anaïs shared.
Anaïs shared some tips for any students wanting to become a barrister.
“Own and embrace your story. You need to be able to talk about your experiences – you’re your own marketing tool.
“Make full use of reasonable adjustments as these aim to remove barriers that can stand in the way.”
Speaking about Bringing [Dis] Ability to the Bar, Anaïs spoke about the opportunities that the charity are creating for aspiring barristers, such as mentoring opportunities.
“If you are wanting to become a barrister, this is the best time to join the Bar, [while] progress is being made.”
This event was the second event of 2023 in the Women in Leadership series, sponsored by our Help to Grow: Management course.