Rachel was interviewed by Castleton Primary School pupils Ashanti Carlton and Kaycee Barwell this month as part of the Connecting Girls Programme. A joint initiative of Leeds City Council and the organisation Connecting Enterprising Women, the programme gives local girls the chance to develop their entrepreneurial  skills in collaboration with inspiring mentors.

Ashanti, a budding artist, and Kaycee, an aspiring journalist, quizzed Rachel about her own heroines, among them Alice Bacon, the first female MP in Leeds and a prescient champion of decent, affordable council housing.

The interview  will be screened at an International Women’s Day Conference, held on 4 April to coincide with the return to Leeds of an exhibition featuring photos and stories of girls and their mentors from across Yorkshire. It has been on display in Westminster since February and contains photos of pupils at Leeds East Academy.

Rachel said, ‘It was a pleasure to be interviewed by such bright and thoughtful pupils. Girls like  Ashanti and Kaycee are the future of growth and creativity in our region and we all have a duty to help them fulfil their potential. The Connecting Girls Programme does a lot to make that happen and I am proud to contribute to the International Women’s Day  Conference , even though I can’t attend in person.

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