The power of the voice is a magical tool. To stand up publicly and persuade, debate, entertain, and inform others is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to most people, especially young girls and women. Finding our voice takes time and having the confidence to stand up for what we believe in takes courage.
Research has found that the proportion of girls who exhibit the willingness to lead falls by 39% between childhood and adolescence. A significant part of this decrease can be explained by a large decline in the social confidence of girls to perform tasks in public. (AGSA, 2021).
The power to persuade and influence in the modern workplace will be a critical determinant of success. It starts with building the courage and self-confidence to stand up in front of an audience and share your story. That is why St Hilda’s actively inspires and supports our girls by providing a safe and inclusive community where girls feel that they can develop their voice through a number of opportunities.
Whether it be performing on the stage in school productions like our girls in Legally Blonde this weekend, participating in the Junior School’ speakers challenge or engaging in one of the many cocurricular opportunities such as the Young Change Agents, debating team, mock trials, United Nations Youth Competition or Gender and Liberations Society to name a just a few, girls can talk, meet and learn to raise their voices.
With many of these student-led, St Hilda’s provides public platforms for them to share their ideas and opinions not just at assemblies but on the world stage to initiate change. Global climate change activist Greta Thunberg and consent advocate Chanel Contos have shown that you can be heard and make a difference in recent years.
I want to challenge the social norms that suppress our girls’ voices and make it count, so they can thrive and evolve in today’s global community and spark extraordinary futures of tomorrow.