Top executives give young women one-to-one mentoring

Victoria Clegg from 1st Bognor Rangers at Girlguiding's Camp CEO
Victoria Clegg from 1st Bognor Rangers at Girlguiding's Camp CEO
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A Young Leader from Bognor Regis has been given expert advice from some of the UK’s top female executives.

Victoria Clegg, 16, was chosen to attend Girlguiding’s national Camp CEO, which was held at Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire, during the last week of July.

She was one of 20 girls aged 14 to 17 to be mentored by leading female executives during the unique girl-only camp.

The week was designed to encourage more girls and young women to aim for the top and have confidence in their abilities.

Victoria said: “I applied to Camp CEO as I wanted to gain knowledge and motivation to achieve everything I’m capable of.

“I know I will never have an experience like it again.”

Camp CEO was launched in response to Girlguiding research that suggested only one in three young women entering the world of work though they will be as successful as men

Girlguiding wanted senior female executives to coach its girls on all aspects of careers, helping to boost their confidence and give them better opportunities in the future.

Victoria is currently a member of the 1st Bognor Rangers and has just finished studying at Felpham Community College.

She was given one-to-one mentoring by Kathleen Vadnais, corporate finance and strategic development analyst at Pearson Education.

Kathleen was educated in America and Prague, gaining a BSc degree in science, finance and marketing.

She worked as an investment banking research analyst at companies including JP Morgan before joining Pearson as corporate finance and strategic development analyst in July 2014.

Victoria welcomed the opportunity to talk through her aspirations with someone who had made their mark in the business world.

She received expert advice from Kathleen on how to overcome challenges, build confidence, develop interview techniques and strengthen networking skills.

Victoria added: “Girlguiding has helped develop my leadership skills. For example, I’m a Young Leader and talk to girls and their parents every week.

“Girlguiding has taken me across the world, introduced me to lifelong friends I would never have otherwise met and made me face fears I didn’t even realise I had.”

After the hard work, there was time for the professionals and girls to experience a taste of Girlguiding adventure.

They took part in adrenalin-fuelled activities such as hovercrafting and banana boating.

Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. It commissioned The Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2016, the largest survey of its kind into the views of UK girls. It will be published in full at the end of September.

Research findings show only 35 per cent of young women aged 17 to 21 believe women and men have the same chance of succeeding in their chosen jobs. That is compared to a massive 90 per cent of nine to ten-year-old girls and 54 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds thinking boys and girls have the same chance of being successful, highlighting a drop in confidence as girls get older.

Research was conducted by Childwise, which surveyed 1,627 girls and young women aged seven to 21 from across the UK, both in and outside guiding, who were asked about their attitudes on a range of issues.

A panel of young women from within Girlguiding worked with the project team to develop the survey.

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