It takes a lot of confidence to be this ridiculous.
Happy International Women’s Day to every self-defining woman out there!
In the lead up to my performance and talk at Jacobs University, Bremen, the WiL conference ladies interviewed me to mark Women’s Day. I discussed the importance of women in positions of leadership and the role of social media in promoting gender equality, among other things. Here is a snippet:
“It is so important for women to gather together, collaborate, discuss, and celebrate with each other. It is especially important to do so when you’re a student, as that is a really unique time in one’s life: you are dedicating three or four years entirely to the pursuit of knowledge and growth, not in the same way as your time in education prior to this (primary school, secondary school, college), which is quite extraordinary when you think about it. Universities are where some of the greatest minds of our time come into their own. Jacobs University’s special focus on engineering and the sciences is important to note too, as these are fields that globally, women are least represented in. Women often lack confidence in these subjects from as early as primary and secondary school. The UK notoriously has the lowest number of female engineers in the whole of Europe. Only nine per cent of UK engineering professionals are women compared to 18 per cent in Spain, 26 per cent in Sweden and 20 per cent in Italy, according to Engineering UK. As more of an artist myself, and someone who works in the media, I can confirm that in these fields, even at top positions, there is a gender pay gap. And approximately 70% of people in national minimum wage jobs are women. With stats like these it can be easy to feel disheartened. Getting together successful women from the UK, Germany, and other places for a weekend of discussion reminds us that all is not lost. We need to create as many opportunities as possible for women to network with one another and lift each other up. We can learn from every woman who will be at the conference and take something valuable home with us.
“There are countless ways to promote gender equality. It’s funny that we have to promote something like that when equality for all people should just be common sense. I think social media has democratised society. Platforms like Twitter especially give a voice and visibility to pretty much anyone. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, but either way it is powerful. You can set up a blog and carve your own space and have your own corner of the Internet. There is room for everyone. And social media has connected us in such a revolutionary and extraordinary way. I can tweet someone in Australia, America, France, Mexico, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and we can exchange lived experiences without ever meeting. You can be part of communities like never before and I have personally seen how the online world can come offline. I am connected to friends of friends of friends on Twitter and eventually we end up meeting in real life because the degrees of separation are getting smaller. At times it can be claustrophobic but more often than not it is empowering.”
Read the full interview HERE.
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