Feeling 10% braver with #WomenEd

Gender Action were kindly invited to #WomenEd’s unconference at Regent High School, London, the day after International Women’s Day 2019. Vivienne Porritt, National Lead for #WomenEd spoke at our launch event in February and we were excited to attend a#WomenEd event in return. There were over 300 educators present as well as a series of facilitators conducting workshops throughout the day.

At our stall, we spoke to dozens of teachers who not only wanted to know more about Gender Action, but wanted to talk to us about their schools and the experiences they have had. It was interesting to here the different reasons they thought the Gender Action programme could work for them. There were teachers from all-girls school that were about to become co-ed, and they felt Gender Action could provide a strong framework to help set the culture from the start. There were science teachers who have been involved in empowerment programmes for years, and teachers whose school had no equality programmes in place. Some teachers felt Gender Action could be useful when planning out their curriculum, other felt it would be a great opportunity to get students involved.

Beth from Gender Action participated in a #LeadMeet to help give a short overview of the programme, and how it fits in with #WomenEd values - clarity, communication, connection, confidence, collaboration, community, challenge and change.

As well as promoting Gender Action, we attended workshops at the event, meeting more people working in our field. These included:

  • Ayo Awotona - an educational speaker who primarily works to empower female students

  • Andy Platt, Pran Patel, Christy Mitchell and Emily Barns - teachers who spoke about the importance of male advocacy and flexible working in schools

  • Leann Swaine - a headteacher who spoke about how to introduce whole school changes, through being courageous and deliberate

The day ended with the launch of 10% Braver - #WomenEd’s book. I have reviewed some of the chapters below.

A Twitter thread book review by Gender Action Schools Award


We've been enjoying reading #WomenEd's new book #10percentbraver 📚 lots of great messaging regarding gender imbalances and how to address them #BalanceforBetter

📚 @Sue_Cowley discusses how gender stereotypes are taken in early by children, affecting and often limiting their careers aspirations (educationandemployers.org/drawing-the-fu…)

👫 We loved @JulesDaulby's chapter 'Pink and Blue Limit Us All' showing the limitations gender stereotypes put on students and teachers. She discussed @genderedcheese and @LetToysBeToys, and not being able to be what you can't see. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draw-a-Sc…) Sameena Choudry's chapter highlighted the importance of considering intersectionality - men and women's experiences are not just defined by their genders but also by race, class, religion and other parts of their identities. 
@EquitableEd (medium.com/awaken-blog/in…)

We really liked this quote from Claire Nicholls, which sums up why we at Gender Action encourage a whole-school approach to challenging gender stereotypes - “If we see a single person as solely responsible, then the danger is everyone else stops caring” #WomenEd @LiftingLimitsUK

♂️@chrishildrew discusses the importance of involving men in conversations about gender inequalities - 'gender issues' are not just 'women's issues' - stereotypes and privilege effect us all in different ways #HeForShe

And in the final chapter, we loved this quote from Keziah Featherstone @keziah70 and whole-heartedly agree 💜 #GenderAction and #WomenEd are both about continuous and transformative change across schools 🎓

Georgina Phillips