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Inspiring Stories of Overcoming, and Defining Your Own Path

August 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An inspiring panel of female game changers telling their stories and what they’re learning along the way to achieving success on their terms

About this Event

An inspiring panel of female game changers, here to inspire and empower you to remove those things that are blocking you and holding you back from living the life that you desire.

Headlined by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Anna Rothery, the panel will be sharing their own stories of adversity and challenges and how they overcame them. Host, Laura Furlong of Empowerment House, will be putting audience questions to this inspiring line up to discover the lessons learned, along the way to achieving success on their terms.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Anthony Walker Foundation, Amadudu Women’s Refuge, Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation, Merseyside Somali Association and The Kairos initiative.


The Lord Mayor of Liverpool: Councillor Anna Rothery

Councillor Anna Rothery was raised in Belvedere Road, Toxteth, Liverpool 8 and is one of four children to Bernadette and Hubert George Rothery. Sadly Anna’s mother was widowed at a very young age when her father died in a road traffic accident. Anna’s mother was left to raise four children on her own, she became a taxi operator to support her growing family and was quickly promoted to a taxi driver in 1972. She remained a taxi driver until her retirement in 2007.

Anna was educated at Granby Street Primary School, St Silas Junior School and Paddington Comprehensive School. She went on to study Sociology, Psychology and Law and undertook her MA in Business and Regeneration in 2007 at Liverpool University.

Anna was elected to represent Princes Park Ward in 2006 and went on to become Chair of Culture Tourism and Sport in 2010 – 2013. Anna made political history in 2012 as the first elected member to speak at the United Nations in Genève on Religious, Linguistic and Cultural difference.

On becoming Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Rothery stated:

“It is a huge honour to be asked to serve as Lord Mayor in my beloved home city. To be made the First Citizen is the highest accolade which can be bestowed and my mother and father would have been so very proud. I have received hundreds of messages of support from well-wishers here from Liverpool, nationally and internationally, and will endeavour to promote this city, and more importantly, the people within it who are truly the jewel in the crown of Liverpool.”

Ije McDougall

Ije McDougall is a HR Expert Adviser for the HMRC, A Radio Producer for BBC Radio Merseyside and the Founder of The Kairos Initiative.

Her talk on Black Lives Matter was recently featured on the Black Lives Matter (London) Website.She is an advocate and an Activist who uses her public speaking platforms for raise awareness and to challenge injustice.

Having beat the odds herself, Ije is well versed in the challenges that face people of minority in the UK.She started as an Admin Assistant at the DWP (Jobcentre Plus) in 2009 and has since worked at the Child Support Agency, ACAS and the Ministry of Justice.She has worked as a Radio Producer since 2012 and has used that platform to celebrate Black Excellence and to discuss issues affecting the black Community. As a British Nigerian who originates from the North East of Nigeria, Ije has first hand knowledge of the activities and consequences of extremists and extremism. Her charity, The Kairos Initiative, was set up to support victims of insurgency in Nigeria.

Ije is a mother of 2 and having experienced a severely premature birth, she was a key part of the team who went to The Houses of Parliament to bring about a change to the Maternity Rights of women who have sick or premature babies.

Ije is an author. Her first book, born out of life experiences as a Nigerian mother in the UK is called “Surviving 0 to 5 years old #Mumofgirls” is available on Amazon.Having started from the bottom rung on the ladder, Ije has insight into the challenges faced by people of colour within the Civil Service.

Gaby Mendes

It’s no secret that your twenties are a transformative period of your life… a time to experiment with different avenues, to learn what makes us tick and to decide where best to place our efforts. But it’s not always that simple. House prices are going up, the value of each hard-earned pound is going down, the internet overloads us with information and choices whilst we all keep up a pretence that adult life is going swimmingly on our social media pages.

Gaby is the founder of Talk Twenties. At 25 years old, she is an ex-teacher turned event professional with a huge drive to help and support others. After experiencing post-graduate depression after leaving university, she noticed pretty early on into her twenties that there was a huge gap in the market for a business that provided educational support and community for twenty-somethings. Talk Twenties was born from this realisation.

Since then, Gaby has juggled changing – and thriving in – a new career; buying her first home; and developing her business plan, only to then successfully launch and grow that business on the precipice of a global pandemic.

Gaby stated: “The initial plan when I launched Talk Twenties was to create in-person events. These events would be a 1-day festival-style conference that would not only be an enjoyable experience for twenty-somethings but educational and possibly life changing for some too. We had our first event booked for June this year but then, of course, we were hit by coronavirus and quickly those plans and dreams were dashed.

It felt almost instinctive, but we pivoted immediately. In the early outbreak of coronavirus we launched a weekly podcast interviewing people on various topics relevant to twenty-somethings. We now have 18 episodes of the podcast, over 3,000 listens, with topics ranging from networking to body image, personal branding to crisis money management. We’ve had guests such as Joe Binder (CEO of WOAW), Emma Mumford (former Coupon Queen and now best-selling author) and James Wythe (Healthy Living James)”.

Gaby’s story is both impressive and inspiring and peppered with ongoing challenges that she seems to deftly overcome.

Marie Hall

Marie Hall is a mum of 3, Group Head of Project and Change Management at the PURE Business Group, an empowerment blogger and speaker, and Founder of EMPOWERMENT HOUSE. She is also a mentor for The Girls Network, Friend of the Single Mums Business Network, mentor for the Liverpool Football Club Foundation and vidcast host and resident panelist of the Circle of Connection vidcast.

Marie is committed to empowering and enabling people and organisations to become empowered so that they can take back their power and get started right away on turning their lives around in accordance with their ambitions and aspirations.

For over 15 years Marie has listened to and supported predominantly women to figure out their definitions of success, set achievable goals and create the plan which will assist them in making it happen.

In 2018, with her commitment to empowering women, Marie decided that she wanted to reach people on a wider scale with her message of empowerment. She began creating content for her female empowerment blog and it grew from strength to strength. Soon after, Marie harnessed her knowledge and passion to create a programme of workshops and in-person networking events designed with one purpose: to empower women to create the life they want on their terms.

From this EMPOWERMENT HOUSE was born.

Marie holds numerous qualifications with her Degree in Law being the one she is most proud of, but her most important and extensive training, however, is from her life experiences. Growing up in poverty, being a painfully shy child who grew up to be a painfully shy teenager, getting to the other side of career confusion and failure, domestic abuse which she endured from aged 16 to 20, debt, having no direction following ending her dance career without a plan, deciding she wanted to go to university aged 25 to do a law degree despite not being regarded as intellectually capable by people close to her, having children at the same time as trying to build her career in law, having to start from scratch numerous times throughout her career. All of these events have taught her life lessons that she has transferred into EMPOWERMENT HOUSE. Her lessons have become her blessings and today she could not be happier.

Marie’s mantra is – ‘If I can you can’

As Marie so often points out, it’s about empowerment.


Laura Furlong

Laura is a member of the debut cohort of the EMPOWERMENT HOUSE programme that launched in January 2020. She has since been on a journey of self discovery and growth. She is passionate about seeking out and creating environments that lift and empower others, and has been helping Marie build EMPOWERMENT HOUSE’s online community.

“Being around people who only want to see you succeed is hugely intoxicating and enabling. When we share our experiences and give space to others to do the same something special happens. I’m on a mission to ensure that everyone has access to such places. EMPOWERMENT HOUSE is just one of them, but we need more. Event’s like this one, where women from different walks of life share their stories are extremely powerful . We too often see successful women and compare ourselves to them without considering what it took for them to get there. We write ourselves off comparing our first steps with somebody else’s well trodden path. That needs to stop, and it begins with creating environments designed to empower people to ask questions, share ideas and open up about themselves without fear of judgement. I’m very much looking forward to asking our panelists about their experiences “.


Online Event