Female Students from three different schools will learn the tools, skill sets and mindsets needed for their present education and future employment during a week-long, female-led programme sponsored by HSBC Bermuda

In what BHS describes as a “ground-breaking public/private partnership”, 30 female students from The Berkeley Institute, CedarBridge Academy and BHS, will be chosen to participate in “SHE LEADS: A Real World Readiness Programme” for young women who have just completed their penultimate year of high school. The week-long programme will take place in July and be hosted by BHS.

HSBC Bermuda is funding the programme and senior female leaders from the bank will also be sharing their own career experiences and knowledge with the students.

The programme curriculum has been developed by BHS alumna, Christie Hunter Arscott, who is also a strategic advisor on gender issues and a 2007 Rhodes Scholar. It has been specifically tailored to how girls learn and is focused on the objectives of inspiring, equipping and connecting participants. The students will learn skills such as financial acumen, communication, negotiation and networking, as well as mindfulness and wellness.

“Topics will be data-driven and customised to meet the needs of female students in Bermuda,” says a BHS spokesperson. “Interactive sessions and collaborative work will provide the girls with opportunities to develop and hone their leadership skills.”



Once they have completed the course, students will be expected to share the materials and topic guides with their peers. This “student-to-facilitator” progression is designed so that not only does the programme extend its reach, but it also deepens the learning and further develops the leadership skills of those who participated.

“It’s time for a new type of employability skills programme that goes beyond skills such as interviewing and resume review,” says Hunter Arscott. “This course will give participants the opportunity to tap into their own unique leadership capabilities and to uncover the mindsets that both help and hinder women as they enter the workforce.”

Clesia Pachai, HSBC Community Investment Manager says, “This programme is more than just breaking the glass ceiling. It is also about allowing these young women to dream and go for it, no matter what social inequities or barriers may be in their way. This is why the collaboration between young women in public and private school is important, as they will hopefully create a support system within this diverse circle to pursue their goals.”

“This is something we really care about at HSBC,” adds Judy Doidge, HSBC Executive Sponsor of the SHE LEADS Programme. “Around 70 per cent of our own workforce in Bermuda are female, with 50 per cent of our Executive team also comprised of women.

“The mentorship and workshop opportunities available through SHE LEADS are therefore complementary to our own culture of diversity and inclusion and our ambition is for this programme to help motivate and foster confidence in these young women to pursue their career ambitions. Today’s employers also expect financial capability skills so it is vital that young people can manage their money effectively from the start.”

Head of BHS, Linda Parker, adds that she is “particularly excited by this opportunity to enable girls from across Bermuda to learn from each other and build their peer networks. We are very pleased to be partnering with HSBC to offer this course to the future female leaders of Bermuda and the launch of our Innovation Centre, which also contains a Leadership Centre, will enable further initiatives of this kind to be developed.”

Students wanting to take part in SHE LEADS have been asked to submit an expression of interest answering: ‘Why do you want to be part of the She Leads programme?’ Their answer can be in any format that is meaningful to them, for example a song, video, essay, audio recording or artistic design. “The process has been deliberately left open to encourage creativity and out-of-the-box thinking,” says a BHS spokesperson.

SHE LEADS is open to students in IB1 at BHS and S3 at CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute. The programme will run from 1 – 5 July 2019 and the deadline for submissions is Friday 10 May 2019. Submissions can be handed in physically to Lorri Lewis at the main reception of BHS on Richmond Road or emailed to sheleads@bhs.bm. Large files such as videos must be sent from a file-sharing platform such as WeTransfer or YouTube.

For more information about SHE LEADS, please click HERE!