“#WomenEd is a grassroots movement that encourages our community to be 10%braver. Finding and using our voice is part of us all leaning in. Amplifying the voices of others is how to nurture and develop aspiring leaders. This collective voice and crowd-sourced solutions to the challenges we face as women in education are part of our #BeBoldForChange ethos. So use your voice to inform and shape our future direction.” @misswilsey
Since the #WomenEd initiative began, with @staffrm posts from @helenamarsh and me two years ago, thousands of women, and a number of men, have become involved. Many have engaged online through Twitter, Yammer, @staffrm and the world of blogging. Some have met face-to-face through regional networks and events. Hundreds have attended the annual ‘unconferences’, so called because they are different from standard educational conferences with invited speakers. At the #WomenEd unconferences, anyone who wants to lead a session is also a delegate, and gains as well as gives. Everyone contributes to #WomenEd. Everyone benefits.
The first unconference in London in October 2015 was brilliant, I thought – energising, hugely supportive, warm and empowering. The second, in Reading in October 2016, was, in my view, even better, because so many attendees from the previous year returned to say how #WomenEd had made a difference to their lives. They talked about how they had felt braver and more confident, and had acted (professionally, and sometimes in their personal lives) with greater confidence and self-assurance as a result of what they had gained from the network. The next unconference is in Sheffield on Saturday 30th September, 2017. Do join us!
Now @kayfuller from the University of Nottingham is conducting research, and I am supporting her, which is a joy and a privilege. We are investigating why a network was needed for women leading in education, and the role of social media in the growth of #WomenEd. It is hoped that we will discover some of the impact #WomenEd has had on individuals and their practice in the last two years.
If you have not yet done so, please complete the online survey and share it with others so we achieve a healthy response rate. The more data we have, the more useful the survey will be, and it will help us analyse how far #WomenEd has come and where it might go next. Thank you!
“Two years ago we started with a plan to have a different kind of conference to support and empower aspiring and existing women leaders and to help women’s voices be heard; we didn’t know what would happen after that. We have learned to be #10%braver and to #BeBoldForChange and we are amazed by the growth and reach of the #WomenEd community. This research is going to tell us the depth and impact so, please, everyone who feels part of #WomenEd, complete the survey to help us grow further.” The national leads: @vivienne @misswilsey @equitableed @jules @keziah
Photo credit: #WomenEdWM Coventry, 11 March 2017. Mark Woodward Photography