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Published: 11 March 2016

International Women’s Day Panel

Joined by an all-female panel discussing the role of women in the workforce and lessons from their careers in sport, marketing, social enterprise and banking.

Opening the panel were three school students from Surrey Manor House School, recently awarded for their speech on gender issues. They shared thoughts on how sexism is still rife in the professional world. Highlighting issues from the current pay gap in Hollywood to the lack of women represented in political arenas, and the solution lying in a collaborated effort by both men and women.  

Sam Farrow, Founder of Farrow Creative    

Sam founded Farrow Creative in 2006, offering creative and digital marketing solutions. She highlighted the importance of networking outside your comfort zone, sharing a brave moment of when she approached influential business woman and TV personality Karen Brady at an event.

Karen Brady is now one of her most prestigious clients and Sam’s company has gone from strength to strength. Sam explained how self-doubt often affects many women in the work place and how listening to your positive inner voice when taking risks is crucial.

Pam Jestico, HSBC

Pam has worked in banking for the past 34 years, beginning her career in Midland Bank and is now with HSBC. Pam explained the monumental changes she experienced within this male dominated industry and when first starting out women simply did not advance to management roles.

Pam did progress by working long hours and agreeing to unexpected international trips, however explained this was something most women with families found too unpredictable and difficult. 

These days while interviewing she still finds women tend not to apply for roles because they do not possess all the necessary skills, whereas men in the same position will take a chance.

Pam’s key message to women was to be bolder and go for it, you may be the most suited for the role and will be surprised will how far you can progress.

Jessica Van Thiel, Founder of Pathfinder, Canada

Jessica established PATHFINDER, a for-profit social enterprise which impacts global development by deploying social entrepreneurs around the world to promote academia and influence policy.

Jessica has worked with human rights NGO’s across the globe and explained the importance of being tenacious in a professional environment, crediting her success with ‘professional stubbornness’ and not giving up vision to make a positive impact in the world.  

Harriet Drudge, Writer & Social Media Executive at Four Four Two

Harriet is a Surrey Business School graduate and currently works in sports news at Four Four Two. Harriet has always wanted to work in sports and joined Football Foundation during her placement year at Surrey.

Since then she has been involved with campaigns to bring more women into sport and lobbied for greater coverage and investment in women’s football. Last year Harriet was part of the first leadership for women conference in Switzerland.

The industry is largely male dominated, but Harriet explained that steps are being taken to appoint more women in prominent leadership roles which is essential for the future of football.  

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From left to right: Jessica van Thiel, Pam Jestico, Harriet Drudge, Sam Farrow.

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