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International Women’s Day

Bias, stereotypes and discrimination affect women the world over. The International Women’s Day movement challenges gender inequality and fights for a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all.  

KGS staff tell us what IWD means to them. 

Sarah Humphrey, Deputy Head 

Helping students to go on and fulfil their potential is one of the most satisfying aspects of my life. After leaving university I worked in corporate banking where I learned the importance of teamwork and how to manage a high-pressured role. I used this time to think about what was important to me and how I wanted my life to look: I retrained as a teacher and have not looked back since! 

International Women’s Day gives me a chance to reflect on how far society has come but also how much work there is to do. For many women, at home and abroad, life is extremely tough. We must remember that. 

'Be bold. Make hard choices. Don’t let others tell you what you should be doing, or how.'

Chloe Rowland, Alumni Office

I have followed an unusual career path, having studied Lighting Design for Theatre and subsequently working as a lighting and theatre technician. I wanted to blend my love of working in the theatre with teaching, so went to work at a prestigious theatre in London within their education department before retraining during the pandemic focusing on mental health and safeguarding in teenagers.  

'I believe that International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the women in my life who motivate, love, empower, inspire and challenge me every day.'  

Anita Harrison, School Office  

When I graduated with a psychology degree in the 1970s it was a time of rocketing inflation and unemployment, strikes, power cuts and states of emergency.  As there were few jobs for graduates, I enrolled on a postgraduate secretarial course. 

My first office job in 1979 was in Mayfair where there was very little gender equality. 
Since then, I have seen great changes in society both in the UK and across the world, in the way people live their lives. 

'My advice to young women today is to strive to be independent, be your own woman and learn to solve your own problems; try not to be overly dependent on others.'

Maria Robinson, Head of PSHE 

Throughout my career I have made decisions that have enabled me to travel, live and work abroad and given me the opportunity to forge my own path, retraining to become a teacher, a career that I love. I now help students create their own futures.  

There is a long way to go before we achieve true equality. There needs to be a change in attitudes not just legislation. It might be illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex in the UK but when we see the figures for street harassment and domestic abuse and consider some of the legislation around the world that has seen the rights of women curtailed, we are a long way off where we should be in the 21st century. 

'Be open to all possibilities. I would not have considered accountancy or teaching when I was at school but both careers have been fulfilling in their own ways. A job doesn’t have to be for life so it’s good to try different pathways to find what works for you.'

Alison Williams, Head of Sixth Form 

Teaching has afforded me the opportunity to live and work in different countries, in roles that have included Head of Biology, Head of Year, Director of Marketing & Admissions and Head of Sixth Form. 

As a female teacher and mother of three boys, the fight for gender equality could not be more real. I am proud of the students that I have worked with throughout my teaching career who are now out in the world making a positive difference to others. 

International Women’s Day is a reminder to us all of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and women's rights worldwide. We should recognise and celebrate the achievements of women and their contributions to society. It's a day for us to reflect on the progress we have made towards gender equity whilst acknowledging the work still to be done.   

'My advice is to have the courage of your convictions, respect others, work hard and see every setback as a learning experience.'