On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration into one of the most powerful houses in the world, I felt it was apt to share this blog I wrote for Flow Caritas after they kindly sponsored my place to attend the inaugural Women’s Equality Party Conference in November 2016. **
Being a woman in the charity sector you often take for granted what an amazing experience it is being in a room with hundreds of incredible women. On Friday 25 November I was sat in a cavernous warehouse for the inaugural Women’s Equality Party Conference surrounded by over 1,500 women and men who are passionate and dedicated about revolutionary change to our everyday lives.
The evening kicked off with resounding music and incredibly inspirational speakers; including Leader of the Party, Sophie Walker and the two co-founders Catherine Mayer and Sandi Toksvig. What excited me the most, however, was the chair of the evening, the indomitable Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London. Not only has Jude Kelly been an inspiration for women in the arts but also women in the Charity Sector.
An inequality that many don’t see or admit exists. Two-thirds of the voluntary sector is made up of women (according to NCVO) but senior positions are still heavily dominated by men in the sector – nearly a fifth of males were working at Director/CEO level compared to just under a tenth for women.
We ran a fringe session with a number of women who currently work in the charity sector; some were senior consultants, others had just started their journey in small to large charities. What became abundantly clear was there is a dearth of female role models at senior positions within the sector.
There was fantastic energy in the room and definitely the will to change the status quo through positive action and the Charity Women group was definitely the best place for this.
We agreed that a toolkit was needed, so women at all levels within the sector, no matter how small or large the organisation is, have the tools and confidence needed to make positive change.
As a sector, we work so tirelessly to change the world to make it a better place for the beneficiaries we work so hard to support. We often forget to look inwards to adopt the changes that can make the workplace a better environment for all.
If you feel passionate about tackling the inequalities in the charity sector, whether that’s more women in Trustee positions, raising awareness of the incredible role models we already have in the sector or you would like to mentor other women in the sector. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
A huge thank you to Flow Caritas for making it possible for me and Lizzi to attend the Conference, we left feeling inspired and determined to make the sector fairer for all.