Be Bold for Change

iwd2017-beboldforchange“Be Bold for Change” this year’s International Women’s Day theme, is a call to action – but what bold change do we need to make? And how can we make it happen?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” was the Margaret Mead quote that first inspired me to start WDF. In our 8 years of operation in Guernsey, 3 in Jersey, we have definitely made changes – we now have vibrant female business communities, previously taboo subjects are discussed in open forum, we take a friendly, fun and inclusive approach to business and guest speakers regularly inspire us to release more of our potential – but is it enough?

Is what we are doing creating enough change for women in the Channel Islands, where equality legislation lags far behind other jurisdictions. And if not, what else could we do to have a greater effect? This is a question that has been uppermost in my mind for the last few months.

But during those same months, the world around us has changed. Reflecting on Donald Trump’s first month in the White House, I realise we now live in a world where politics and entertainment have become so blurred to the extent that “What’s Donald done now” is like a click bait soap opera! Somewhat worryingly I find my outrage from last November has dulled to a jaded contempt, which is not an internal state likely to galvanise me to great action. Whilst part of me has yearned to don a pink pussy hat and march the streets singing “I can’t keep quiet” another part has been saying surely women taking to protesting in the streets is a retrograde step, away from the “men and women in partnership” vision? And like the social media commentators against our local Stop Trump protest (which I did attend BTW) how does protesting about Trump help us locally?

So let’s look at the data – if more millennials had voted then there would be no President Trump and there would be no BREXIT. If more women and millennials were engaged in local politics it is highly likely our equality legislation would be far better than it is. And imagine for a moment if more women started new local businesses that fitted in with their ways of living and working, rather than having to squeeze into the straight jacket of established patriarchal structured business? What bold change could be created then?

It is my sincere hope that the whole Trump debacle will galvanise more millennials and Gen Zs to engage in politics and world affairs and that all the energy created in the women’s marches will turn into positive action for equality, which will far outweigh what would have come from a Hilary presidency.

Closer to home my thoughts turn to what if we were to investigate how WDF can support more women to return to work after career breaks, set up their own businesses, gain promotion at a younger age and find meaningful employment beyond middle-age? None of these are small tickets items but maybe that’s where we need to start to Be Bold for Change – with a bold agenda!

 

WDF is holding a WDF Future Café on Tuesday 28th February 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm in the Henry Tupper Room at Les Cotils to discuss the future strategy for the Forum in 2017/2018. To book a place and contribute to this agenda for change, please contact admin@wdforum.org or send us an email with your thoughts and ideas.

To celebrate International Women’s Day – Be Bold for Change – WDF will be holding 2 events kindly sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, please follow the links to book: -
Jersey 7th March with guest speaker Dr Tessa Hartmann CBE
Guernsey 8th March with guest speaker Tricia Stewart – the Original WI Calendar Girl