Womened Unconference 3 - pledge


If I’m totally honest, I’m not exactly sure how I’m feeling after it. It was overwhelming, affirmative, insightful...a little bewildering. Think I’m in the messy stage of metamorphosis. Maybe. Viv Grant described how the cycle of the butterfly can be applied to people - the changes they go through to become the end self/ butterfly...a leader that is you.

I found out about #womened last September. The beacon of light that is Vivienne Porritt - vulnerable and fierce, compassionate and candid. She is an angel of empowerment. In twelve months, I’ve been to three teachmeet/ gatherings in Coventry, Leicester and Oxford, spoken at two leadmeets and did my first proper talk at #PedagooHampshire17. I’ve become a West Midlands Regional Leader, blogged a lot, curated a series of epic myth busting blogs and met the most wonderful human beings. At the moment, I'm looking into setting up a YouTube channel for womened and helping organise the next WM Regional event in Birmingham.

Womened is a beacon – the lighthouse analogy Hannah shared in Leicester will always stay with me. Your beacon, the light that guides you are your values. Three beacons shone effervescently at the unconference. I have been inspired, to my core, by Hannah Wilson – a powerful force of hope. An incredible human. If I'm just a tiny little bit like her in the next ten years, I'll be very proud. I’ve been supported through validation connecting with Kathryn Morgan – she is a rare and purely beautiful human, full of depth and compassion. Annemarie Williams is effortlessly amazing. She is authenticity personified. Her work speaks for itself. 

The bewildering part. It was A LOT to take in, quite overwhelming at times. I’m not entirely sure how I would describe the energy that I could feel. Observing and listening to the interactions between a lot of women in the same space was insightful. I'm being very honest in saying I did question why some were there. You could spot the very empowered people in the room but to be frank they were in ‘privileged’ positions. The temperature went from radiating warmth to coldness in different spaces. 

Saw 3 people by themselves so went up to them. One lady I couldn't b/c I was in mid flow convo...but wish I had. I'm going to be controversial but I have a voice, so I will use it, I question whether every single woman came for the right reasons, was it because they believe in the movement or was it an opportunity to say ‘I was there’ - were they there for the collective, which in fact includes the chn we teach? #womened isn’t a fad, or a bandwagon to jump on, that’s why I am a little undecided about Unconference 4 – would it be the worst thing in the world to wait for Unconference 5 and then Unconference 10? Do we need an annual unconference?

Where there is substance, there'll be impact. Impact takes time. Like the butterfly, change takes time. Time enables substance to build. Substance is the foundation of purposeful, lasting impact. Future leaders need to grow and develop with time. The choice to lead is the first step, the journey of leadership is a trail of steps... They need to curate and foster change to have impact. Isn't that the point of #womened? 

The one truth that weaves through each word is that I know my ‘forever’ pledge. I pledge to be guided by my heart, what feels right for me, what I believe in. In essence, following my heart means being guided by my values. 

These are my favourites lyrics from every KOL song. I get lost in the words...they are comforting and uplifting

I won’t forget to love because that will guide me. I love #womened. I’ll keep following the light. I hope I can become a beacon. 

So by following my heart, I've three outcomes I want to work towards. 

1. Enable young girls to understand and engage with fierce conversations - empower young girls through language  

2. Set up #womened YouTube channel so that potentially wider audience can engage with #womened

3. Become an English leader, who has a greater sphere of influence 

Author Profile

Kiran S

Kiran S

Primary teacher who loves her job.

47 stories


Fee Stagg Fee Stagg @govclerk 2 months ago
what a fabulous blog. very candid and honest and that is something more of us should be.Our honesty and shared stories are like lighthouses. I am just entering my 5th decade - I have started a new chapter in my working life and my rock are my ever supportive family and friends. I leapt from the security of employment to self employment and have been through various iterations since then - where I am now is where I want to be but I need to manage my time better. I've met some fabulous people too - their hugs were genuine. You can tell. If I may I will quite your thoughts on impact - this is a word we all struggle with and you have encapsulated it perfectly. Here's a hug from me and the words of my experience - go with the flow - be brave - let it take you where it may but always keep the shore in sight. x
Fee Stagg Fee Stagg @govclerk 2 months ago
I mean quote not quite! Clerking Typing Fail!
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 2 months ago
Thank you Fee - I could talk to you all day. Was worried it may have been a little too honest maybe but it is just better to get to the heart of what you are saying.

Think when you have a solid foundation of support, you are able to take more risks. I can't wait to see how you will take your work forward. And I completely agree, I've learnt, it is best to go with the flow but keep hold of your values - life jacket if you will! Thank you Fee x x x @govclerk
Fee Stagg Fee Stagg @govclerk 2 months ago
How lovely of you to say so Kiran and I know that out there is a role which is perfect for you - don't give up looking. Pupils need your passion. And as I said yesterday children are the 9th C and whilst we may go to womened or other events like it for ourselves and we gain something personal at the root of everything we do are children. Hold your values firm. xx
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 2 months ago
Thank you for your kind words Kiran. It was lovely to see you on Saturday although very brief!! Your blog speaks with raw honesty and reflection. I've read many of your blogs before and love the way you strike the balance between heart and head, values and actions. Thank you for this thought provoking piece.
Hannah Gregory Hannah Gregory @hgregory 2 months ago
Hey Kiran was lovely to say hello on Saturday and I would be happy to support with YouTube if I can - keep in touch.

It was my first Womened and I spent the first couple of hours very much over whelmed and on my own. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing - it allowed me to prepare for my workshop and take everything in.

I relaxed as the day went on (mainly after my workshop was done!!) and I have to thank @dauntlessdaughters and Dawn Jones who took the time to talk to me and bring me into the fold!

One thing I know is that we are all so different. We will have arrived on Saturday with different backgrounds, experiences and expectations. We won’t all engage, communicate or react in the same way at the same event, but yet we will all take something from it in our own way.
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 2 months ago
Was lovely to meet you too Hannah! You are very right that we all come from different backgrounds, exps and expectations.

Will definitely let you know abt YouTube - a working progress at the moment.

I hope we will see each other again, hopefully at the Brum event in Nov?!

Was really lovely to meet you - I loved the top you were wearing! Need to get me one of those x @hgregory
Kiran S Kiran S @kiran 2 months ago
Thank you @awilliams i don't know if sometimes I am too honest!

Thank you for reading - you really are one of the most inspirational ladies I've come across through womened x
Hannah Gregory Hannah Gregory @hgregory 2 months ago
I won’t make it in Nov as I’m due on 28th so could be pushing my luck! Will be around in the new year though.

My top is from a fab small business in Manchester www.everythingssweetthreads.com
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 2 months ago
@kiran Sometimes a little straight talking honesty is refreshing. It also models how we can all be better leaders through embracing vulnerabilities. Keep on being you!
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 months ago
Womened YouTube yay
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