WomenEd Blogs

‘Concentrate on Being a Mum’

by Jo Pellereau @PhysicsJo

I am blessed to have two wonderful children, both the result of gruelling IVF procedures and following pregnancies dotted with the stress of hyperemesis, blood loss and a bout of post natal depression following the birth of my second child. The impact on my wellbeing and the toll it took at work is my primary motivation for undertaking a PhD in Education looking at fertility issues and how schools handle them.

Despite these challenges, at no point in the past almost 4 years have I considered my career to be over or even paused. It has taken a different direction than I thought, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have importance to me or to my sense of identity. In fact in many ways my commitment to education has been increased by my new identity as a mother.

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Adventures in Quilting

by Vikki Pendry @VictoriaPendry1

This was my first WomenEd conference and my first unconference, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect! I was drawn to the range of topics, especially those with an international texture which I felt would add some useful perspectives to improving ‘ways of working’ and community building. Values of collaboration and connection to inspire change and build confidence oozed out of every session! This was particularly helpful to experience as a newcomer.

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So-ing and Patchwork Part 2.

by Emma Turner @Emma_Turner75

Flexible working needs modelling at all levels of responsibility, and if we are to avoid so-ing, then leaders have a duty to analyse who their flexible workers are and to see if they are representative of all levels, pay grades and responsibilities across their organisations. If we are to see flex as a realistic and aspirational model then it needs modelling at all career stages and in all roles. Flexible working should be seen as just that, flexible; it should be seen as a chance to shape, mould and develop existing norms and to innovate. It should not be seen as a second rate option to the premier glory of full time. It should also not be associated with specific levels of responsibility or roles.

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So-ing and Patchwork Part 1.

by Emma Turner @Emma_Turner75

I am a mother of three small children and I work flexibly, part time, in education. Now read that sentence back.

How many read the word, 'and' but heard or inferred 'so'? How many inferred that I work flexibly because of my children rather than the flexible working setup being seen as separate and unconnected and a proactive rather than a reactive choice? For too long and across too many aspects of our education sector (and our lives) our flexible workers’ choices are attributed a 'so' rather than an 'and. It is almost as if flexible working needs to be excused or explained by being prefaced by a reason for its very existence and accompanied by an unrequested but seemingly necessary apology for not working full time or in a traditional working pattern.

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Being 10% Braver is possible!

by Isabelle Ercan  @IsaErcan04

What a wonderful feeling of togetherness, of sisterhood I was left with at the end of last weekend after the thought-provoking #WomenEd unconference which gives women leaders a voice in education! Women from all over the world (UK, Canada, Middle East, Europe) joined us to discuss the challenges that we all encounter as women to access the leadership ladder in educational settings. 

How shocking is it that we, women, 50% of the population, the bulk of the workforce in schools, don’t get into Headships or Leaderships posts as much as men do!

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Imposter Syndrome: Will the real leader please stand up?

by Biljana Torbakova @btorbakova

This unconference was my first experience of #WomenEd and it was a great one.

Ironically, as I commenced my presentation on Imposter Syndrome, or Imposter Feeling (which for me is a better way to describe these temporary feelings), I felt like an Imposter at that particular moment!

We have so much unlearning ahead of us.

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Soy #ÉlporElla para un mundo donde poder ser YO

by Micky Dominguez   @micky_dominguez

Martes, 9.30 de la noche, cuando ya el día parece llegar a su fin. Me siento en mi escritorio, delante del papel y el lápiz y me pregunto: ¿qué me convirtió en un #HeforShe? ¿Qué me hace defender y reivindicar la igualdad entre géneros?

Cualquiera que haya sentido en su vida cualquier tipo de discriminación, ya sea por su género, su procedencia o sus preferencias de vida, sabe perfectamente cómo se siente una persona a la que le cierran puertas o valoran sus iniciativas desde una perspectiva de género.

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Why helping others can be the help you need yourself

by Nicola Mooney @nicksnook

 

This is a short reflective blog on why standing together is important.

 

One year ago today I received this message:

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Women, Leadership and Sectoral Ceilings?

by Mairead Mhig Uaid @MaireadMhigUaid

For almost a quarter of a century, I have worked in the Irish Medium education sector in the north of Ireland/Northern Ireland. An immersion education system established here just over 50 years ago, it has doubled in size across each phase in the last 15 years to almost 7,000 pupils . Recommendations for development in 2008 by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland have seen limited progression. The sector is small and education here is a devolved issue.

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The table

by Lisa Hannay @lhannay1

Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to be elected to congress and was a formidable force for women’s rights, equal rights as well as a voice for minorities and for those who did not have anyone speaking on their behalf.

Shirley coined the phrase well used today, 'If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair'.

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Finding our voice

by Jackie Hill @hill1_jackie

Losing your voice

“I’ve lost my voice - again” – it kept happening for 2 years. At first, it was funny (sort of) but that changed, as it could take weeks for it to return fully. I tried different treatments, but nothing worked permanently. 

My GP said the best treatment was simply not to talk!! Well, I found that practically impossible...! I learned just how dependent I am on my voice and how, without it, I felt disempowered and left out.

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Leading through values

By Christina Watson @cmw_kendal     Photo credit The Falkland Islands – Sunset Saturday 26 September

Saturday 26th September saw our first @WomenEdFalkland event: a morning thinking about Values- Led Leadership. What a morning it was: full of collegiality, wisdom and optimism.  @RRamaito kicked us off via Skype from Rome, encouraging us in “Leading from your soul and not your role”. She reminded us that when leadership is defined by the impact of powerful and positive behaviours, that inspire, engage and empower ourselves and others to live out our persistent values, then we create a culture that is brave, open, flexible, generous and nurturing. Values- led leadership leads to empowered colleagues, embraces diverse talents and makes space for agile responsive leadership. We are in!

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I am a Woman in Education. #Wii_Edu

by Philippa Wraithmell.  @MrsWraithmell

I am 34 years old, I live in the UAE and have a husband and two children, 10 and 6 years old. So why am I beginning this blog as though I am 5 years old writing my biography in a literacy class?

Because education is one of the few professional sectors where this can truly define who you are. It can limit opportunities and allows people to make judgment upon you without knowing the whole story.  To profile me as an educator you would know this: Teacher with 12 + years experience in middle and senior leader, Apple Distinguished Educator, BETT MEA Board Member, Innovation in Education Award winner. Qualified Safeguarding level 3.

This is my story.

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The reality of being a woman serving headteacher in the UK

By Jill Berry @JillBerry102

On Saturday 12th September 2020, #WomenEd ran a webinar on the subject of what it is currently like to be a woman serving head in this country. The webinar was ably hosted by the wonderful Keziah Featherstone (@keziah70) and featured eleven practising school leaders:

Nav Sanghara (@NavSanghara), Caroline Derbyshire (@Morsecat), Helena Marsh (@HelenaMarsh81), Binks Neate-Evans (@BinksNeateEvans), Helen Keenan (@hbkeenan), Christalla Jamil @ChristallaJ), Allana Gay (@AllanaG13), Caroline Barlow (@BarlowCaroline), Mareme Mufwoko (@MMufwoko), Ruth Whymark (@ruth_whymark) and Claire Price (@ClairePrice1). It was a superb event.

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Listening and Telling Stories: growth and empowerment

by Kerry Jordan-Daus @KerryJordanDaus

Six months ago, I wrote a blog, What the xxxx is normal? I was anxious, scared and very unsure of what the future held. Our lives had been turned upside down in so many ways. That blog was personal; I was so worried about my daughter. We’d just got some normality in her life, a huge achievement in navigating the inequities for a young adult with autism. She lost her little job, no college, all her social clubs shut … life in lock down … felt, was, unbearable.

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