On Thursday we made a difference. We talked, we listened and we inspired.
We started with statistics and everyone gasped.
62% of secondary teachers are female.
Only 36% of head teachers are female.
Somehow, we have been ignorant to these figures, we have forgotten, become apathetic to or accepted the glass ceiling above us. Our head teacher is the first female head of our school since it opened in 1931; the deputy and three assistant heads are male. I wonder what SLT figures would be?
One of my fears was that we would descend into negativity; a quick change to a heart and mind post-it note task, opened up the opportunity to share and support. Mother. Teacher. Leader. Role model. Human being. As each person spoke I heard the tremble of honesty, and as more of us listened and supported, I saw eyes lighting up with passion and enthusiasm.
We talked about recognising barriers, fears and seeing our own potential. Everything came back to being 10% braver.
Then, the most amazing thing happened - Tracey (our head) walked in. We were a little nervous but she joined in and sat as one of us. We mindmapped ideas and set some goals. Tracey shared her story and each of us talked about our personal and professional journeys.
Then the brave part: Tracey asked us to share our ambitions and aspirations. Wow. This was our wow moment. It was a moment of vulnerability and bravery. 10% Braver. Imagine sitting in front of your head teacher and a large table of women daring to say what you want in life. Zip wire. Move to France. Head of Year. Head teacher. Battle the word 'average'. Physical fitness.
Me? I once said I wanted to be a second in department. I want to be a decision maker. I want to be a policy maker. I'm not sure what that means but I know I am inspired by WomenEd and want to inspire more women leaders in education.