Every so often something comes along which changes the way you work; makes you feel stronger, braver, supported and inspired. Something that makes you realise that there is someone out there who has your back; will make you laugh when you’ve had a challenging day and gives you the confidence to put forward your own ideas…
That was my short introduction to the #WomenEd Gloucestershire event today… Then I let the proper speakers take over.
Setting up Gloucestershire’s first #WomenEd conference (I hesitate to say “organise”) was nothing short of an honour. To help bring together inspiring speakers who talked about finding a balance in your career; about finding your ‘why’, your passion, your joy; about a ‘me first’ attitude; about understanding how far women friendly legislation has bought us in the last 100 years, and how far we still have to go; about how working together we can do pretty much anything; about confidence, belief, assertiveness, courage, choice and presentation.
This is what #WomenEd is about. And it is truly an inspiring message.
But today it was delivered by five speakers who spoke with one powerful voice. Five speakers who, by linking together from a position of sheer compatibility of message, communicated a vision of what equality looks like.
The speakers hadn’t collaborated beforehand, some hadn’t even met before. They were all involved in Education in their careers but they came at their subject from different angles. They were all women but had travelled different paths of experience. They were all passionate about Education and had all been challenged along the way, but they showed us what ‘support’ really looks like.
It’s difficult to eloquently express the feeling that being in the vicinity of all that professional generosity and belief in the future gives you. By the end I felt energised, strong, and confident that I can join with them in making a difference.
By the end of the event, the positivity in the room was tangible. The audience left with ideas, advice on finding their own path and, most importantly, a smile.
If you ever get the chance to go along to a #WomenEd event, don’t hesitate. It is time you won’t regret spending with like-minded colleagues who, like you, are passionate about what they do, want to share what they’ve learned on their path, and, perhaps crucially, want to work now to smooth the path for those who come after them.
Thank you to everyone whose support made #WomenEd Gloucestershire happen, including the Aspens team for the wonderful ‘showstopper’ cake, and I hope to see you all again at our next event.