Petronella West, director of private clients at Investment Quorum, recently invited us to support her ‘Girls Speak Out’ charity appeal writes Eleanor Mahmoud.
I went along to a fantastic evening in London which saw over 50 women across various industries attend, all with one common interest – to stand together as global women to help the less fortunate.
(Citywire's Ela Czuruk and Petronella West (pictured left and centre above)
The Girls Speak Out appeal was launched in 2016 as part of charity Street Child, to help young girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia who are not being given the chance to go to school.
Having been involved with Street Child since 2008, West was ‘totally inspired’ after hearing the story of Adama, one of the first women saved by their work in Makeni, Sierra Leone. Having since travelled to Sierra Leone herself, West has truly witnessed the power of education.
This Girls Speak Out event was all about building momentum – discussing ideas for practical things we could do to get the appeal moving further.
The UK wealth management industry oozes relative privilege and education, it is therefore shocking that two-thirds of girls in Sierra Leone drop out of school. When asked whether our industry should be doing more to help the less fortunate, both abroad and at home, West responded:
‘Always, but with an emphasis on sustainability and long term.’
She has already built impetus across the industry. With IFAs from The Red House, Serenity Financial Planning, Heron House Financial Management and Life Matter attending.
West says: ‘I find female IFAs very supportive of each other and keen to support each other’s events where we can.’
If you would like to support West, her stories from Sierra Leone are both fascinating and inspiring – well worth a listen. You can find out more about Street Child here and you can make a donation here.
Anything that broadens the Girls Speak Out network and reach is being gratefully received. Whether you could offer up use of a venue, know someone with soft skills or have any ideas, she would love to hear from you.
Thank you for inviting Citywire to be part of the movement!