International Women’s Day 2018

200 years until gender equality? No thanks!

This years theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. Focussing everyone to collaborate and work together to accelerate us towards gender parity.

IMG_6462.JPG

To mark International Women’s Day I joined the MK Community Foundation at Milton Keynes Theatre for their IWD breakfast.

IMG_6420.JPG

IMG_6422

Not only a chance for tea, juice and pastries but an invaluable time for the women of Milton Keynes to come together, talk, exchange experiences and who they are.

IMG_6424.JPG

Then it was time for us to be addressed with speeches. First up, Debbie Brock DL. Vice president of MK Community Foundation.

IMG_6430.JPG

Then it was Nikki Ross, the assistant chief constable of Thames Valley Police, who gave a very heartwarming and, at times, emotional speech about her experiences in life and career with the police force that have been both sexist and gender inclusive across the past few decades.

IMG_6435.JPG

It was truly inspirational and even though she touched on some very sensitive topics, she was warm, honest and humorous. I am still feeling inspired from her.

Without divulging her personal story in my twisted words, her message was simple. Be loud, proud and true to yourself. Have confidence. Don’t be so shy or insecure not to have a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help, they will tell you if they can’t, don’t speak for them from an unsure mind. Don’t give up. Accept mummy guilt. It’s real but it doesn’t mean you are being a bad mum by following dreams. You are in fact being a great mum by showing that’s possible. Balance yourself. If something is wrong, speak up for it. Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Don’t be afraid to be a woman.

Thanks for the inspirational words Nikki.

I should scribble some of her words on a pad and read them when I wake up every morning. We all could do with that sort of positive mentorship. That’s why we need to work together.

IMG_6433.JPG

Then it was time for everyone to make the walk over to Campbell Park to The Rose.

IMG_6437.JPG

A few more words and some stories were read.

IMG_6442.JPG

IMG_6444.JPG

IMG_6446.JPG

We all made pledges on luggage tags which we tied to the International Women’s Day pillar with #PressforProgress in mind.

IMG_6453.JPG

My tag simply said: I don’t have 200 years.

IMG_6457.JPG

The reason I went for that is because I read that it’s going to take on estimate, 200 years for gender parity to exist if we continue at the rate we are going at now.

I don’t have that many years and I’d love to see it in my lifetime, so let’s accelerate and be a catalyst for progress.

IMG_6455.JPG

IMG_6460.JPG

International Women’s Day 2018. Milton Keynes.