International Women’s Day

During a week in March the College united to celebrate International Women’s Day. A series of thought provoking, inspiring and conversation starting workshops, talks and activities designed to encourage an understanding and debate around the challenges still facing woman in today’s society and empowered them to reach their potential and believe in themselves. We were fortunate to have an exciting line-up of impressive female speakers from diverse backgrounds, all of whom work to create dialogue, effect positive change and raise awareness around the pervasive effects of gender bias and sexism in society, while finding ways to collaborate and work towards a safer society for all.

How to build a safer society conference

How do we build a safer society for women, and by extension for all? Together we can tackle the root and branch issues of gender-based violence by giving a voice to the female experience and bringing together women from all walks of life to not only share their stories, but to empower each other to create change and celebrate our commitment to a safe society for all.

  • Laura Storey (Award-winning communication leader at IBM, Inventor, Writer, Advocate for better work-life practises)
  • Faye Mills-May (Domestic and Sexual Violence community Safety lead for West Sussex County Council, Advocate for Domestic Abuse Services, Managed DA Services at My Sister’s House)
  • Jo Davis (Catering and Major Events Manager at Ardingly College, Menopause Awareness Promoter)
  • Nichola Povey (VAWG (Violence against women and girls) Community Navigator for Sussex Police, Launching Safe Space Sussex, Worked with Survivor’s Network)
  • Evette Caplan (Licensed Acupuncturist (BAA), Supporting people with trauma, addiction and mental health issues at Pathways Brighton, Volunteer treating trauma at international refugee camps)
  • Catriona Watson (Qualified Humanistic Therapist, Worked with IATP improving access to therapy,  Worked at Women’s charity offering trauma informed therapy, Works with Boarding School Syndrome)

Finding your voice and using it workshop.

An immersive workshop designed to find your true voice, be confident in your body, manage conflict and encourage sisterhood.


Slam poetry workshop with Emma McGordon, award-winning poet, performer and community artist. This workshoped helped participants respond to the world around them, find their creative voice and stand up and share it.

The Red Tent

A celebration and centering of all voices in a safe and creative space. Students and staff gathered to share a poem, story, song and reflect.

Climb your own Everest

A talk with Holly Budge. Holly is a World-class Adventurer, Keynote speaker, Conservationist. Conservationist, mountaineer, and intrepid explorer Holly Budge inspired us to climb our own Everest

IWD Chapel Service.

Rev Arwen led us in a theological reflection on womanhood and the strength of the human spirit. The staff and student choir gave a stirring rendition of Twenty-First-Century Woman and Suffragett

The Biggest Football Session

Over 200 young female footballers from local schools participated in a training session led by our Head of Girls’ Football Mike Gardner. The Biggest Football Session as part of a Nationwide initiative to encourage girls to play and have an equal stage to the boys’ game.

Women In Sport

Elite hockey players benefitted from coaching and an inspiring talk with Olympian Helen Richardson Walsh Olympic Hockey Champion, Author, Supporter of Inclusivity, Performance Psychologist.

Women at Work

A conversation with Old Ardinians. What is bias and how does it impact us in the workplace and our daily lives? Three powerful professionals (and Old Ardinians!) started a conversation about  women in the workplace and how we can break the bias!

  • Chloe Bennett, Global Associate Relationship Director at Manchester United
  • Gill Cooke, Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Three Ireland & UK
  • Nikki Miller Astrophysics Researcher & PhD Student at Keele University

Art Installations

A memorial tree in the South Quad asked us to remember those we have lost as well as refuse to let victims of gender-based violence become nameless, faceless statistics of an endemic crisis. Mirrors throughout campus promted us to ask who we are and what we wish to become, beyond the merely external. A silent film of the many faces of our community demonstrated our collective commitment to build a safer society and to break the bias that holds us all back!