KCOM Enterprise Jan Collins (pictured centre)


The female leaders of the future were urged to unleash their potential at a KCOM event to mark International Women’s Day.

The event, held at the MKM Stadium this week, welcomed nearly 100 female students from schools and six form colleges across Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire to meet inspirational women who have excelled in their chosen careers.

Among the keynote speakers, offering insights from years of experience rising to the top, were Jan Collins, MD of KCOM Enterprise, and Rose James, CEO of Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University, who both urged the young women present to embrace the opportunities available to them and “light the spark” of belief that would drive them on to great things.

Speaking to a packed room, Jan Collins said: “This is about giving you as young women the tools to show how you can really fulfil your potential. I’m privileged to work for an organisation like KCOM that fosters an environment where women are able to flourish.

“What these days mean for me personally, is an opportunity to reflect on all the strong women that have inspired me throughout my life to get me here today.”

Jan added that young women needed to believe in their skills and abilities to ensure they take on more leadership roles in the future.

“Women need more confidence to apply and stretch themselves – we’ve been raised to aspire to perfection, and we’re overly cautious,” she said.

“So, my message to all you young women, fabulous women, is this - believe in yourself, negotiate for yourself, own your own success. I tell that to my daughters all the time.   

“It's crazy to me to think about the fact that right now 85 percent of all consumer purchases are made by women. Women use social media 600 per cent more than men.  We own the Internet, and we should be building the companies of tomorrow. When companies have diverse teams, and they have incredible women making decisions, they build awesome things and we see it every day.”

As part of the day attendees were able to take part in an interactive session, delivered by Hull-based training experts Trans2 Performance, about how to reach your full potential and recognise any inner doubts that can hold you back.

Girls from Longcroft, Bridlington, St Mary’s, Wilberforce, Wyke, Hymers and Hornsea Sixth Forms,  as well as students from UTC North Lincolnshire also watched a stirring film by Miriam Payne, an East Yorkshire woman who completed a record breaking solo rowing race across the Atlantic, and met footballer Ellie Tanser who talked about her journey to becoming captain of the Hull City Ladies team.

For more details about International Women’s Day click here