It was ‘girl power’ all the way as Highfield Leadership Academy marked International Women’s Day (IWD) 2019 on 8 March.

International Women’s Day is a global celebration observed on 8 March every year. It is an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as highlight those areas where action is still needed to bring about equality.

Year 10 pupils took part in workshops reflecting upon gender balance to reflect the 2019 theme of #BalanceForBetter. They spoke about tackling the prejudices and gender stereotypes both young men and women face in order to improve things for women.  Highfield pupils also participated in the first-ever Fylde Coast International Women’s Day Festival at Blackpool Sixth Form College where they met representatives of more than 30 local businesses, with the aim of spurring them onto future success.

In another activity to mark International Women’s Day, pupils interviewed local business women Jill and Mary Walton, of Walton’s Coach Hire.  They learned about Jill and Mary’s different school and career experiences, how the business started and how they have succeeded in a male-dominated industry.  The business women told the pupils to study hard as it brings more opportunities, apply themselves, have a goal and not to let other people stop them achieving their goals.  Mary said girls today have many more opportunities and that should be celebrated. She also said that sometimes women do have to work harder to prove themselves in a male-dominated industry but that respect will come if you are determined and persevere.

Activities taking place around the school included Year 9 cheerleaders striking different #BalanceForBetter poses – this year’s campaign theme. In English, students studied poetry and books by female authors and the KS3 This Girl Can fitness club invited male students to join them for fun and fitness for one week as part of the gender balance work. A number of girls also attended the Sharp Futures Digital Divas event in Manchester, celebrating successful women working in creative digital and technology.

Principal Andrew Galbraith said:

“We want to encourage all our pupils to achieve and strive, whether male or female. By introducing pupils to strong and successful women and hearing their first-hand experiences, we have empowered our pupils and shown them that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.”

For further information on Internal Women’s Day 2019 visit

Striking the International Women’s Day pose ahead of visiting the Digital Divas event at The Sharp Project in Manchester – ‘Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate Change’.

Year 9 girls helped raise awareness of the #BalanceforBetter International Women’s Day theme during their Cheer class

Striking the #BalanceforBetter pose with Jill and Mary Walton, of Walton’s Coach Hire

Year 10 Girls taking part in a workshop looking at what it is like being a young woman in the UK and why equal opportunities for boys and girls are so important