Event Review: OM Women’s Networking Event  

“On Tuesday 26th November, the Marlburian Club Women’s Network held an event in the Google office in London. The motif and basis for discussion of the evening being ‘New Ways of Working’. The theme was inspired by an article published in the Sunday times last year, about the glossy portrayals of super-organised working mothers, which (more often than not) does not reflect the everyday mother. At the fore-front of this article, authored by Christine Armstrong, is an argument presenting the reality that families may be damaged by these ‘big little lies.’

This event not only opened a space ready for open and easy conversation between the current Marlborough pupils, Old Marlburians and Common room staff, but also allowed a room for discussion about topics which aren’t comfortably spoken about on an everyday basis. The range of ages, experiences and professional positions helped to provide an all-rounded conversation between all the women that attended, talking about different perspectives and understanding everyone’s opinions and justifications. This event provided a protected and secure place for women, more specifically strong, empowered, old Marlburians to come together and discuss our queries and concerns for not only the future, but the now, the present world. What is it that us women can do to make our world one which we feel glad and appreciated to live in? This is the question on all of our minds – one which may never be answered, but we know we will continue to challenge. This what I must accredit the brilliant panel for.

The five women who sat bravely at the front offered us insightful and inspiring advice, which came from their own experiences. The panel consisted of; Emily Brooke MBE (TU 2002-02), Jo Iddon (SU 1987-89), Catherine Stewart (LI 1974-1976), Polly Rathbone (EL 1991-96), all woman of different career paths and with various stories to tell. Every single woman was happy to offer advice to those who needed it and ask for help themselves. They emphasised that it is okay to ask for help and to say you are finding it hard (which seems to be something I recognise in myself), because this is how we learn and develop as humans, there is no shame. This panel was led by Lara Cowan (MO 1992-1997) who had a strong and admirable story to tell herself.  What these women had to tell the audience about what they have gone through and how they have had to adapt to the change is inspiring. Change is occurring all the time, and the secret to understanding this is to be ready to face it. However, with all this being said, the single most important thing that I took away from this evening was that, to be successful, you need to be happy.

From all of us here at Marlborough, and on behalf of everyone that attended, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be myself and not be ashamed of what I like and where I want to go, and thank you for letting me leave the Google office with my head held high, and ready to face tomorrow with a smile on my face. “We can do it!” – J. Howard Miller

“I think that passion is the secret ingredient that drives hard work and excellence.” – Kelly Ayotte, Former US Senator”

Marina Bokhari (L6 DA)

You can see photos of the event on MC Global Connect.