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The Female Lead in the Classroom

Our mission at The Female Lead is simple, but powerful: we want to shine a spotlight on the women who shape our world. We want to make them visible, to share their stories in detail. We believe that this is important for both girls and boys: having access to positive female role models is crucial to build girls' confidence, but it also helps young men to appreciate women's achievements, and to find new role models of their own.

In 'The Female Lead: Women who Shape our World', you will find interviews with 60 women who have achieved remarkable things. You will hear from a firefighter and a space scientist, a ballet dancer and a footballer, an MP, a journalist, a photographer, a fashion designer. You will hear from women who have excelled in sport, broken new ground in science, made pioneering advances in technology, made art, won literary prizes. You will hear from women who have worked in times of conflict, in conditions of the most serious danger, to protect the vulnerable and work toward peace.

Mulberry School For Girls collaborated with Edwina Dunn and The Female Lead campaign on a set of teaching resources to bring The Female Lead book into the classroom. The purpose of these resources is two-fold: to encourage students to engage with the stories of the 60 Female Leads in The Female Lead book and to enable students to find in these women’s stories resources, which will help them on their own journeys to success. The Female Lead teaching pack is designed to be used alongside the book. The activities will help you to talk and think about the broader issues to which the stories of our Female Leads connect; to consider the impact of role models on your own life; and to begin to look towards your own future, and the incredible potential you hold within you.

Role models fulfil an essential function in inspiring young people, but the danger is always that the more inspirational a role model, the harder it seems to young people to achieve the same level of success. These lesson resources help to bridge that gap. Through these activities, students are able to explore the stories of their role models in greater depth; situate these stories within a broader social context; and draw parallels and contrasts with their own experiences.

Through The Female Lead book, its documentary series and its teaching resources, students are empowered to envisage with greater clarity what a happy, successful and fulfilled life might look like for them, equipped with some of the skills necessary to make that vision reality.

‘The common themes of: pursuing your passion, demonstrating intellectual curiosity, daring to be different, taking risks and asking for help all resonated with our holistic approach to education. This book has not only highlighted current positive role models, it has also provided a platform for the sharing of these key messages to our girls, emphasising the traits, values and qualities we want them to emulate. The Female Lead has helped empower and motivate the girls to do this.’

Ian Keary, The Tiffin Girls' School

‘We received our copy of ‘The Female Lead’ today and it is a truly wonderful book, thank you. We are a girls school which seeks to empower our students and give them plenty of inspiration for working in the modern world.’

Teacher, Manchester Girls School.

To join our Schools Network and request a copy of The Female Lead teaching materials, please email

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