Five women having afternoon tea on a Sunday, very normal, yes? These particular five women, however, were planning to build on an amazing grass roots response to a series of blogs @staffrm about women leaders in education.
It began when @helenamarsh asked What glass ceiling? and @jillberry followed this with Lost Leaders asking how to encourage more women to make the leap to leadership. Over a Twitter weekend came the suggestion that we should have ‘a little conference’. I collated the ideas and offers of support in a third blog, Women leaders: making the leap and asked whether people wanted to join in. Then it exploded. That blog has had over 3400 views and its sequel, updating people two weeks later, has had over 2300 views. This suggests that, for women in education who are or who aspire to be leaders,
we have a real need for our voices to be heard, to connect with each other and for our aspirations to be achieved.
We know the challenges and barriers which stop women finding their way to leadership are complex and interconnected. And there are still sexist behaviours and attitudes, whether conscious or unconscious, in our everyday experience which hold both women and men back. And for women from ethnic minority backgrounds, for example, the barriers become higher.
Take a look at The Everyday Sexism Project (http://www.everydaysexism.com/) and #genderedcheese on Twitter if you think sexism has gone away.
Who are we?
The original Co-Founders of WomenEd are:
Jules Daulby @jules
Keziah Featherstone @keziah
Helena Marsh @helenamarsh
Natalie Scott @nataliehscott
Vivienne Porritt @vivienne
Hannah Wilson @misswilsey
Twitter: @WomenEd, #WomenEd
What do we want to achieve?
We want to capitalise on the outpouring of interest in WomenEd. So, to kick this off, we will have an unconference on 3rd October 2015 in London and we are delighted that Microsoft have kindly donated their offices for this. Our ultimate aim is the kind of education network for women leaders that female business leaders have – we really do want to ‘lean in’ (Sheryl Sandberg).
We hope this is the start of more women putting themselves forward for leadership roles at all levels of education. We want to support the leaky leadership pipeline by stimulating and connecting opportunities for women to develop their leadership skills.
What can you do?
Read the blogs
Share the blogs with others
Let us know how you are supporting women to become leaders
Highlight WomenEd in your newsletters so lots of women beyond Twitter hear about this
We want to connect aspiring and existing leaders to have the confidence and belief in their ability to lead as a woman. Do join us.
UPDATE - ways to engage with #womened