In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, SCG staff and guests tell us the advice they would give to their past self.

International Womens Day 2021

This year's theme is #ChoosetoChallenge, calling on us all to think critically about our own thoughts and actions. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, SCG staff and guests tell us the advice they would give to their past selves.

"I was told that I could not achieve what I wanted to. I am determined and succeeded. Don’t let the doubters and critics hold you back from fulfilling your potential. Choose your own path to follow, be determined and enjoy it and you will succeed."
Roz Cheng-Williams, Agency Administrator

"Surround yourself with the people you aspire to be like. If you surround yourself with inspirational, motivated and positive people, it is more likely that you will become an inspirational, motivated and positive person yourself.
Grab every opportunity you can to do new, interesting and exciting things. Travel; get out and see the world, and if you can, spend some time living and working abroad. When you are older, you are unlikely to look back on your life and think ‘I wish I’d spent more time in Shropshire!’"
Charlotte Brock, Programme Leader - Art & Design

"Have confidence in your own ability and don’t be afraid to pursue what you want."
Lois Bamidele, Engineering Teacher

"Worry less - there really are not as many things to worry about as you think they are. And everything turns out alright in the end."
Catherine Buckley, Campaign Co-ordinator

"Remember to enjoy the present. It's great to plan and have goals and it's good to reflect on the past, but also enjoy the moment and the 'now'. Sometimes we can be so focused on striving for better, or more, or different, that we miss appreciating what's currently happening."
Michelle Dawes, Head of Higher Education

Dean Harris - The High Sheriff of Shropshire

  • Retain your independence, never rely on someone else to make your dreams and ambitions to come true – you are in charge of your own destiny
  • Never be afraid to speak up for what you believe in
  • Never be afraid to be yourself – you don’t have to fit in
  • Feel the fear and do it anyway!

"The advice I’d give my younger self is not to unnecessarily worry so much, concerns that seem huge now, will pass and in the future seem hardly relevant. Just take your next step and do what feels right each time."
Donna Lucas, Vice Principal - HR & Professional Development

"Decide what you want to achieve, recognise that parts of that journey will be difficult and scary. Do it anyway. You'll learn that you're capable than more than you thought."
Kirsty Worrow, Programme Leader - Film & Leader

"Buy shares in Google! And don’t mess about in the maths class. That GCSE is so important"
Corinne Brown, Business Development Manager

"To borrow from Billie Jean King: “you’ve got to see her to be her!” Be the role model you want to see. Support and champion other women. The path ahead will challenge you, but it will be so, so worth it!"
Karen Hayward, Agency Manager

"Identify the standards you wish to live your life to and maintain them despite what others around you say and do. The perfect job is getting paid to do something you would do for free - always aim for that."
Beth McGowan, Music Technology Teacher

Jane Preston - Founder, Riverside Training Ltd

"Be brave and take risks, rather live with failure than regret not trying."

"Don't let fear stop you doing something. Even if it goes wrong, it will help you grow. Nurture your support network of other women, look to them and other strong women for inspiration. They will help you when times get tough."
Sarah Roberts, Programme Leader - History Classical Civ & Religious Studies

"You don't have to please everyone all of the time and not everyone has to like you. 'Imposter syndrome', and 'I don't belong here', is normal and you will move through it (for more on this check out Amy Cuddy, 'Fake it till you believe it' and 'power poses'). Keep learning, it gives you choices. Surround yourself with strong women, mentors, and cheerleaders. Keep at arm's length negative people, they'll drain your energy. Lastly, hug a tree as often as you can"
Jane Owen, Travel & Tourism Teacher

"Be kind to yourself, you deserve it! Listen out for your inner voice and take time to hear what it has to say. Celebrate the good times, learn from the challenges and remember you are never really alone."
Amanda Crane, Progression Specialist - Construction & Trades

"If I was to give any advice to my younger self it would be as follows:

  • Value and develop your relationships – it’s all about the people.
  • Be braver – safe choices are not necessarily the best ones; however...
  • Diamonds are not a Girls’ Best Friend – a pension plan is.
  • Keep active – believe me, your bones and mental health will thank you.
  • Stop Worrying! It all turns out OK. Don’t get so caught up in the difficulties of the moment since they are only temporary.
  • Listen More. Listen Better.
  • Don’t work too hard – sometimes you need to go and do something else instead. Actually, you still have not mastered this.
  • Red Lipstick is wonderful. Bulk buy ‘Doris Karlof’ lipstick by Miss Selfridge. The future will be a hot mess of super-heated consumerism and fast fashion where the stores you love so much now will all be gone.
  • Listen to Ru Paul – the World’s Greatest 21st Century Philosopher – 1) ‘lipsynch for your life’ – Men always act as if they can do anything – even if they can’t – so, fake it ‘till you make it – and if you can’t… 2) ‘sashay away’ –– you have worth – learn to value it and, as for number 3 – well, you’ll have to wait and watch …."
    Tracy Cottee, Clerk to the Corporation

"Spend less time worrying about what other people think about your choices and get on with what you want to do.."
Chris Sears, Director of A Levels

Sarah Hodnett - Salon Owner, Beauty by Sarah

"Hold onto your hobbies for your own mental and physical health. Don't give up when challenges arise. Focus on self-development and naturally, you will achieve your goals."

"Be more adventurous, be willing to take more risks, don’t worry about what the future might hold, live for and enjoy today. Be willing to trust your instincts, work hard to develop true friendships and value the special people around you who provide support and love, keep learning and facing the challenges. Keep healthy in body and mind through exercise, diet and sharing thoughts, laughing with those close to you."
Catherine Armstrong, Vice Principal - Curriculum Support & Business Development

"Always remember to; learn from your mistakes, treat people, how you want them to treat you, be kind and understanding and never expect the best out of live if you are not prepared to put in the effort."
Lorraine Burrage, Agency Project Co-ordinator

"I'm tempted to say buy shares in Microsoft! However, I think it would be say yes more. Mostly, self confidence is nurtured and developed through experiences both positive and negative. Every experience has the opportunity to feed your soul and help you grow - it's about your attitude to them - if negative, take it, reflect on it and then use those reflections to move forward; if positive, take it humbly, reflect in it and use those reflections to move forward."
Laurina Rushworth, Executive Assistant: English & Welsh Bridge Campuses

"Trust your instincts, no one else knows what they’re doing either.”
Emma Whittal, IT Helpdesk Team Leader

"I would tell my younger self, don’t be so hard on yourself and you are good enough. It’s ok to be you and stop worrying about other people’s judgments"
Holly Hands, Student Services Team Leader