Each year The Washington Group, co designs the Fylde Coast International Women’s Day Festival, working in partnership with key stakeholders and female role models, and most importantly, pupils from schools across the region, to celebrate, inspire and create impactful action for each other and the future of female leaders. This year, the event will be partened by BITC, Blackpool Sixth and the #IWill campaign and will build on the previous events that have come before, whilst also looking to make a difference for the future, taking inspiration from this year’s International Women’s Day theme: #BreaktheBias. 

At 2019’s event, more than 100 high-profile women from sport, science, arts and business across the Fylde Coast played their part in inspiring over 200 school pupils and local young women to “smash glass ceilings” and see themselves as equals as the first-ever International Women’s Day Festival took place in Blackpool. Attendees included Kelly Massey Team GB 4 x 400m Olympic champion, Fylde’s Pentathlon GB medallist Dr Nic Robinson, Blackpool-born comedian Ruth Cockburn and Dame Julia Cleverdon CBE.

Christine Hodgson, Chair of Blackpool Pride of Place Partnership and Chair of Capgemini UK plc, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, called the atmosphere “intoxicating”.

The former Blackpool Elmslie School pupil said: “Having worked for 35 years in a male-dominated world, I think fantastic events like this are vital in shining a light on opportunities for women.

“Blackpool has more than its fair share of inspirational women and this event opens the doors of opportunity for these young women to gain new experiences and meet different people, which is fantastic.”

In 2021’s online festival (due to pandemic restrictions), TWG made a pledge with young women to progress a 5 year Young Women’s Strategy for the Fylde Coast which calls for action and demonstrates a path to accelerating women’s equality. Following IWD 21 Festival event TWG met with a core group of young women to plan this and develop what is now the draft framework.

On Saturday 5th March 2022 TWG have planned a Young Women’s summit, to be held at Blackpool 6th Form. The summit will bring together young women, key decision makers and stakeholders with a goal to agree the key objectives of a Fylde Coast Young Women’s 5 year strategy.

The strategy will be adopted by a community of young women, schools and business to drive this forward. The Strategy will adopt the 5 key themes of Fylde IWD:


A Theme encompassing all the colours of the world! Let’s talk being the best we can be, believing in yourself! Making you voice heard and counted for. How can we gain a new cultural visibility and ensure young women’s voices make a difference and have the equity that they deserve.


Happiness and kindness make the world go round. Interactive workshop to explore how young women can support their own well being and self-care through a variety of tools… develop your own toolbox. What works for you and how you can influence your happiness.


Science is a woman’s best friend! A field filled with imagination, exploration, innovation. Interactive workshop to explore innovation and what part women play in an ever changing world of opportunities, digital IT and opportunities. Let us all be creators and not just consumers.

This Women Can

The active Theme supporting young women to explore the opportunities in sport and physical well-being. What does it mean to be active? How can young women be leaders and change the world of sport, what part do we play? What part should we play?

Green Field

Everything you ever want to know about how you can save the environment and so much more. Interactive workshop to explore how young women can participate in protecting our world and making small changes with huge impact. Links to national campaigns and opportunities.

TWG are asking for business and organisations to play an active role in the afternoon element of the IWD22 Summitt on 5th march 1pm to 2.30pm. A world cafe session to help support and drive forward the identified needs of young women and cement the actions of a 5 year strategy.

The strategy requires female leaders as sponsors, who will act as the conduit between young women (schools and colleges) and the systems which are there to support them, to ensure the strategy’s key objectives are met. The strategy also requires over all business and organisations whose main business strategy fits into  one or more of the IWD themes.

We are asking you to join young women at the Summit to provide details of the work that is happening on the Fylde Coast , through future business  and investment plans to current community projects and opportunities available to young women.

If you are interested in being part of the day, please contact  Deborah Terras, Director of The Washington Group at Deborah.terras@twguk.org.

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