We truly celebrated International Women’s Day in style this year!
There was an absolutely brilliant turn out at the IWD2017 event held at Leeds Town Hall yesterday. Hundreds of women (and some men too!) attended the event to meet other inspirational women, hear their stories, and find out about what is on offer for women in Leeds.
Women’s Lives Leeds were very lucky to get lots of space to promote our service and those of our partners. Leeds City Council also kindly offered 2 guest tickets per partner organisation. We had staff, volunteers and Trustee members from all our partner organisations at the event. Our very own Project Manager, Jeannette, courageously took to the stage in front of the huge audience to share her inspiring story and tell everyone about our exciting Women’s Lives Leeds project!
The day kicked off with the wonderful Leeds City Council choir who sang as everyone mingled and found their seats.
The event was introduced by Cllr Judith Blake who was thrilled to see so many local women and girls at the event. She also made a #BeBoldForChange pledge to challenge bias and and inequality and call it out when women are excluded and spoke of the number of times she has seen the number of women far outweighed by men in political meetings.
LCC Chief Executive Tom Riordan then took the stage and commented “Now I know how it feels!” reinforcing Cllr Blake’s message about the inequality still faced by women in most meetings and events. The Chief Executive spoke of his pledge to compile a list of non-white non-male speakers to make sure that no one in the future can use the excuse “there wasn’t a female/BME/disabled etc. person available to speak”. We welcome this fantastic pledge from Tom Riordan and look forward to more diverse speakers at events in the future!
Next up was the Inspirational Woman of the Community Award – nominations were made by the people of Leeds for deserving women who have done lots to support and improve their communities. 9 women from across Leeds were awarded this incredible award, all of whom were very humble in accepting theirs!
Nicola Furbisher, local award-winning journalist and writer, and former Editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post then captivated the audience with her story of being a woman in a leadership role and her struggles to get where she is today. Another inspirational woman sharing her story to encourage others to dream big.
The attendees then took part in one of the various workshops, from ‘Women in Construction’ delivered by Mears, to ‘Empowering Women’ organised by Leeds Migrant Network. The workshops were a fantastic opportunity to hear more from inspirational women across Leeds who have overcome their struggles to follow their dreams.
After the workshops our fantastic Project Manager, Jeannette took the stage. Sharing her experience Jeannette showed the audience that it is absolutely crucial that we support the most vulnerable women and girls in Leeds. She did a fantastic job at promoting Women’s Lives Leeds and our upcoming Forum (so much so that we are now FULLY BOOKED!) If you still want to be involved and have the opportunity to attend the next Forum please email email@example.com to join our mailing list so you never miss out!
The closing speech was delivered by the ever-energetic Cllr Alison Lowe who spoke of her story and the importance of supporting women and girls to achieve their potential.
A big thanks to Leeds City Council for supporting us and organising the raffle which raised over £600 for our service!