Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that today is International Women’s Day. Usually, I’d avoid jumping on a bandwagon, especially one as big as this, but after attending a truly inspirational event yesterday evening, hosted by our lovely clients, Koreo, I just can’t help myself.
The event, which was part of the Good Women network event series (if you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely add it to your to-do list), was literally full to the brim with hundreds of amazing, talented women, all passionate about gender equality. However, what struck me the most, was that the majority of these women weren’t just talking about gender equality but creating solutions.
From the TRiBE mentoring programme which helps to improve the career prospects of black women, to the BITC Same but Different campaign aiming to put an end to the terrible ‘women at work’ stock imagery out there (something we know all too well working in communications), to IC Change the volunteer-led campaign for the UK Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention on violence against women to make it law in the UK, we were introduced to the varied and tangible projects of inspirational women with fire in their bellies, truly committed to social change.
Koreo themselves announced the launch of their latest venture, Impact Careers, a cross-sector grad scheme focussing on mobilising young people to help tackle the Global Goals – starting with Goal 5: Gender Equality. And one I can’t leave out – on a personal level, I’ve also been fortunate enough to volunteer with The Girls’ Network – an incredible mentoring scheme connecting professional women with girls from low-income backgrounds, helping to transform their confidence and aspirations for the future.
Yes, each of these initiatives are each tackling one small part of a huge issue but the point is, they’re doing something; they’re creating real impact. They’re trying new ideas, they’re challenging the status quo.
If you know anything about Kin&Co you’ll know that creating impact is something we’re big on (we even have a social change barometer on our wall). That’s why, despite advice not to, we founded the We Are Europe campaign last year. We didn’t want to just sit around waiting for an outcome that went against our principles, we wanted to do something about it. And although the result wasn’t the one we campaigned for, we contributed to youth turnout rising from a predicted 32% to an unprecedented 68%.
So hats off to Koreo, and all the other amazing initiatives we heard about last night. Our advice; actions speak louder than words. If you have an idea, do everything in your power to make it happen. Start small, but aim big, and remember (a favourite saying in our office) it’s usually 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.