Prominent female leaders appeared before students at a college last week to talk about the achievements of women in society and to tell them to “be inspired”.

Guest speakers including Mayor Margaret Davine joined students at Stanmore College, Harrow, to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday March 8.

Other speakers were Janice Brown, clinical scientist at Mount Vernon Hospital, Charlotte Carvalho, actuarial associate at Price Waterhouse Cooper, Vasu Krishnaswamy, head of technical at Pearson and Sarbdip Noonan, principal at Stanmore College.

The mayor, who was the first citizen of the borough to be a student of the college talked about her time at Stanmore.

She said: “Stanmore is important to me, I spent a lot of time here.”

She discussed her time at university, her involvement in Harrow Women’s Centre, and the advances in her career to councillor and then mayor.

Cllr Davine also acknowledged more men were encouraging of women being empowered, that aspirations were for everyone and it was important to foster ambition in the young.

Vasu Krishnaswamy from Pearson, who studied maths at university and subsequently researched engineering talked about the disproportionate number of boys versus girls in this industry and the implication that ‘girls don’t do this’ should be challenged.

Principal, Sarbdip Noonan, spoke of being a mother and of her female role models saying: “If you look at British politics, you’ve had Margaret Thatcher and you’ve now got Theresa May. As politicians they’ve done an awful lot for the British Society.”

The mayor’s office said: “Hearing the speakers and celebrating achievements – from the political to the social - conveyed a strong message to students about how far women have come from the roots of International Women’s Day which were in movements campaigning for better pay and voting rights.”

The event, organised by STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) student ambassadors, concluded with student, Maria Pope singing a Romanian song called ‘Hats off to Women’.

Principal, Sarbdip Noonan, expressed pride in the students for having organised the celebration. Speakers were presented with flowers from Stanmore’s students in appreciation for their involvement.