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Students from Birmingham schools are to join a panel of key industry sector experts to discuss how to shape the future for women in the city.

Organised by Birmingham City Council, the ‘Chamberlain Challenge’ event will take place at Highbury Hall, the ancestral home of Birmingham reformer Joseph Chamberlain, on Thursday, September 20, as part of the 100 years celebrations to mark some women being given the vote in parliamentary elections.

Lorna Fitzjohn, Ofsted’s regional director for the West Midlands, Anna Parker, founding director of Intervention Architecture, and Tracy Westall, non-executive board director for Innovation Birmingham and TechUK will be on the panel.

They will be joined by Dr Debbie Talbot, medical director at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, and Lara Ratnaraja, cultural consultant and programme co-curator for Hello Culture, while Heather Jameson, editor of The MJ - the UK’s most read magazine focusing on the management issues affecting local government - will be hosting the event.

The panel of experts will work with 50 sixth form students from six schools - including Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School, Swanshurst School, Lordswood Girls’ School and Solihull Sixth Form College - to examine how Chamberlain's radical way of thinking could be used today to make Birmingham one of the top 10 places for women to live and work in.

Councillor Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’ve been marking the the centenary of the female vote and the Suffrage movement since February and now it’s time to reflect on what the next 100 years could be like for women in Birmingham.

“We’ll be challenging the students to think about how career areas such as health, education, technology, transport, architecture and arts could be improved for women and they will be working with our invited panel of inspirational women to come up with a list of radical ideas.

“It’s exciting to have the next generation of adults exploring these topics and offering their opinions as to how Birmingham can be the place they want to make their home and succeed over the next few decades.”

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham