The first ever Women in Leadership conference saw 130 women staff and student officers come together in West Bromwich. The day explored means of diversifying the movement, challenging the barriers facing women entering into leadership, and supporting women to develop their individual leader identities.
“I’m only the 8th female president of NUS in 90 years”, NUS national president Toni Pearce told delegates in her opening remarks. “I’m not just going to wait around for change”. NUS women’s officer Kelley Temple agreed that “we need to make sure that women in leadership are more numerous, and more diverse”
Director of Themba HQ Kirsty McNeill delivered a keynote speech, offering practical and inspirational advice to delegates on how to amplify their leadership qualities. “If what matters to you is being popular, run to be prom queen. If what matters to you is changing people’s lives, run to be president”, she told delegates. “The only approval you need is your own”
Following a panel discussion with female chief executives and women in other various leadership roles, delegates broke out into a range of workshops exploring issues like navigating gender bias, diversifying election candidates, and developing a leader identity.
The second keynote speech of the day was delivered by CEO of the Fawcett Society Ceri Goddard, who spoke on her own history in the NUS women's campaign, and a career campaigning for equality. "We’re seeing a great fourth wave of feminism", she told delegates. "But are we taking this energy and plugging it into policy making? In this, NUS is so important. You are one of the heartbeats of feminism"
Forming a vital part of our priority campaigns, Women in Leadership was an powerful day of exploring how we can move towards equal representation within the student movement, and across wider society.
Emily Beever ?@AUSACharities
Have loved all of today. Hands down best event I've been to
We're so inspired reading all about NUS Women In Leadership conference! : )
Rachel Harvey ?@RachelJHarvey
This has by a million, been the best conference I have ever been too! . So much inspiration!