Deborah Netolicky unpicks her own battles in finding balance as a woman, including focusing on self-care and learning how to say no to reduce the feeling of “busyness”. As co-editor of Flip the System: Australia she reflects on the lack of female voices in some educational spaces and how the state of politics is also a concern. Her blog finishes with practical tips for organisations and events on how to develop their diversity strategy.
Lena Stewart’s blogs always make me think. Sharing her experience of listening to two female speakers from the US criminal justice system, she reflects on the kindness needed to maintain the dignity of the individual. As the head of a virtual school for looked-after children in Scotland, she links the talks to their national agenda on ensuring schools are trauma-informed and educated about adverse childhood experiences. Her authentic voice joins up the dots between different approaches that are human-centred, such as restorative justice.
Lisa Hannay reflects on the birth of @WomenEdCanada’s daughter and @WomenEd’s granddaughter with the arrival of @WomenEdAlberta holding its first networking event for #IWD19. Shared stories, affirmations, celebrations, tears and solidarity punctuate her journey as she passes the baton on to another group of women connecting over a shared vision.
Liz Free, who wrote the international chapter in the #womened book, has collated a series of stories about global journeys. She shares trends on the number of female teachers in international schools and identifies the impact of an increased representation of women leaders on the global economy. Her blog reminds us that the issues we face in the UK are mirrored globally, for example, there is a 23 per cent pay gap for women and men in leadership internationally.
Madeleine Rose explores the “futile” quest for “perfection”. Addressing the fear of failure, the paranoia and constant niggly feeling of disappointing people, she articulates how such behaviours can quickly become “normalised”, reminding us that anxiety is a form of mental health and not a personal characteristic flaw.
Penny Rabiger reflects on the act of finding someone to be mentored by and matching with someone who needs mentoring. Her candour invites us to consider how our context frames our perspective, as we each have a lens shaped by our identity that defines our relationships and thus our conversations.
This stark blog is an uncomfortable read as Emma Catt shares the shame of receiving multiple explicit images via DMs from male connections on Twitter. She says that she does not want to be seen as a victim, that others have experienced physical assaults, but virtual assaults can also be damaging.
Julie Stewart captures the spirit of a #womened event perfectly. She shares her surprise that each and every voice spoke to her, that each story resonated in some way with her own journey. This weaving of stories is the beauty of a grassroots event. The connections, conversations and relationships that evolve are really special and the essence of the “unconference” format.