Beam Talks is Smiling Through Light's UK initiative which aims to inspire young women by highlighting different job sectors amongst Sierra Leoneans in the UK. It showcases the diverse career routes taken by Sierra Leonean women living in the UK. The event provides a space where role models can discuss their achievements, experiences and challenges with a new generation of change-makers. From these talks, we hope that everyone who participates will leave with a greater sense of empowerment and enhanced skills required for their self-development into their chosen careers.  

Through this initiative we aim to highlight and celebrate achievements amongst Sierra Leonean women in the UK, provide opportunities where women are empowered to be enablers for girls aspiring to achieve their dreams, creating a platform for women in leadership to build relationships and advance each other in their careers. We also aim to build strong alliances, partnerships and an enabling environment for mentors. Through the talks we aim to support each other by continuing dialogue with other attendees around the different issues highlighted.

“So inspirational & humbling. Proud attender; love, love, love”
— Student, 23 years old.

Key accomplishments:

  • Started in July 2016 (8 Beam Talks held to date in July 2016, September 2016, December 2016, March 2017, June 2017, October 2017, December 2017 and April 2018). Three events planned this year in June, October and December 2018. Quarterly events held 4 times a year.
  • Had 23 speakers, over 300 attendees and hosted by Ecobank, School for Social Entrepreneurs, PwC, Lloyds Banking Group & Thomson Reuters. 
  • Impact - Individuals collaborating, mentoring and organisational support.
  • Attendees found Beam Talks very relevant, very inspiring & that something happened as a result of the event.
  • Evaluation Report in partnership with University College London (UCL) looking at the impact of the Talks.
  • New partnerships with different corporates such as EY & Thomas Reuters. 


“It’s a platform for women. How do you create jobs? How do you make money? Thinking about our career development and showcasing our diverse skill sets…It’s about working together”
— Beam Talks attendee