With the issues facing women in the workplace close to our hearts, Becky and I were very excited to be involved in three events last week aimed at promoting women.
First up was HerSay’s excellent media training event on Monday night as part of Parliament Week. Held at Portcullis House, it gathered together female experts from fields as diverse as engineering, voice coaching, recruitment and charity who all want to get more media exposure. HerSay, a database of women experts, was set up with the aim of getting more female voices heard. Becky and I joined a table as media experts on the night and gave tips on turning products, events and business into newsworthy story ideas.
Thursday saw the launch of Visible Women Connects, a new online mentoring service for young women which hopes to encourage more women into male-dominated industries. VW Connects is the brainchild of Barbara Kasumu, who at 26, is already the chief executive of youth employment charity Elevation Networks, and is certainly an inspiration to many of the other women who were looking to be matched with mentors on the night.
Cherie Blair CBE gave the keynote address and spoke about what had inspired her to become a barrister when she was growing up, adding: “Before I die I’m determined that we will achieve equality for women in the 21st century, but we have not achieved it yet. There is no country in the world where women have equal opportunities to men but obviously some do better than others.”
Finally, on Saturday I attended Underwire Festival, to hear one of its founders Gabriella Apicella talk on a panel debate about the images of prostitution on film, as well as watching her film Honest Lies, which my daughter and I were extras in! On the panel was campaigner and author Rachel Moran who talked about her own experiences, which are documented in her must-read book. Paid For, My Journey Through Prostitution. The film festival was set up in 2010 due to the belief that women working in the UK film industry needed more encouragement and a bigger platform for their work.
A busy but truly inspirational week. It was such a privilege and a pleasure to meet and talk with so many women working hard to end inequality in all kinds of spheres.