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Inspiring and supporting Tower Hamlets women into leadership

BAME Leadership Event

Speakers included Dr Halima Begum, Remi Atoyebi, Dr Vanessa Apea, Cllr Asma Begum and Nadia Ali

Over 150 Tower Hamlets women came together for a special International Women’s Day event to support and celebrate Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Women in Leadership, hosted at the Atrium in Bethnal Green on Thursday 10 March.

It was organised by the council and Tower Hamlets Homes, working in partnership with local community organisations account3, Women’s Inclusive Team and the Limehouse Project.

The women took part in group and panel discussions on the subject of leadership, what it means to them, and how they can be supported to play an active role in their communities and access senior positions in their careers. They were able to speak with leaders from organisations across the borough and access opportunities for mentoring, work experience, and further training and support. Tower Hamlets based Numbi Arts provided the entertainment with music and dance performances as well as poetry readings.

The event was chaired by Councillor Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor and Chair of the Tower Hamlets Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission. An expert panel of successful women consisted of Dr Halima Begum, Chief Executive of the Runnymede Trust, Remi Atoyebi, Headteacher of Osmani Primary School, and Dr Vanessa Apea, Consultant Physician at Barts Health NHS Trust. Each of the women have a strong local link to the borough, as did the event host, broadcaster Nadia Ali.

The event also saw the launch of ‘Dare to Lead’ a 12-week accredited women’s leadership programme run by local community training and development co-operative account3.

The course starts in May with aims to empower women with the skills and confidence to become community leaders. Women who would like to find out more or express their interest in attending can call account3 on 020 7739 7720 or email admin@account3.org.uk

Councillor Asma Begum, Commission Chair and Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth Services, Education and Equalities said:

“We started the Commission following the killing of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests and to chair the commission has been a great honour.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who shared their stories with us, often painful stories which in many ways rang true with my own experiences. Our event has been a truly inspiring occasion and I’m delighted that we’re addressing a key target to support more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women into positions of leadership.”

Mayor John Biggs said: 

“I’m proud that the council has committed £1.5million and a detailed action plan working closely with our local partners to tackle the racial inequality which still exists within Tower Hamlets. We are working hard to deliver these actions and bring about positive change.

“It’s so important that we do all that we can to support women into leadership and active involvement in civic life.”

 Ann Lucas, Chair of Tower Hamlets Homes said:

“I was delighted to attend the celebration of International Women’s Day, and to represent Tower Hamlets Homes as co-sponsors with the council and other partners. All the speakers were inspirational leaders and it was great to see so many women aspiring to follow in their footsteps.”





Posted on Tuesday 15th March 2022