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Identity and Inclusion: Dr Maggie Semple's message to our Sixth Form Students

Published on 07/03/24

Our Stephen Perse Cambridge Sixth Form students enjoyed a guest talk by renowned entrepreneur and thought-leader, Dr Maggie Semple OBE, who spoke about the importance of being able to comfortably express one’s identity and of being aware of how other’s perceptions and experiences may vary from our own because of our different identities.               

Maggie Semple, who has been described as a ‘voice of reason’ and a thought leader on inclusion and equity, leadership and cultural change, encouraged students in Year 12 to consider how little we each can know about one another's identities, unless we take the time to listen and understand everyone’s different life experiences.

During her talk, Maggie drew on her expertise from her varied career in education, government, law and as an author to encourage students to confidently explore and express the different factors that make up their own identity and to try and understand those of others and how that may affect our personal and professional interactions and relationships.

Maggie Semple said: “It is important that we are all able to constructively discuss difference, race and inclusion, whether we are first entering the workplace and finding our identities at the beginning of our careers, or leading and managing an organisation. In order to be inclusive, we need to understand the different facets that form our own identity and how that relates to the identities of those around us. This is a life-long journey for us all, but the teenage years, and especially Years 12 and 13 at school, are an important time for young people to become more confident in their own identity and how to navigate difference and inclusion effectively and positively as they prepare for the next steps in their education, training, career and personal lives.”

Richard Girvan, Principal of Stephen Perse Cambridge, added: “At Stephen Perse Cambridge, we nurture an inclusive environment in school. Maggie’s talk gave students a great deal of food for thought around sharing our own perspectives and thinking about the implications that this has for us every day. Her talk sparked ongoing conversations within the school community and has helped us all to understand how to put our intention to be more inclusive into positive practice.”