Flow Caritas were pleased to sponsor a place at the Women’s Equality Party Conference for Holly Christie, Corporate Partnerships Manager at the MS Society. Holly had an inspiring day and has written a piece for us below.
Holly Christie, MS Society
A weekend at the Women’s Equality Party conference
Being a woman in the charity sector you often take for granted what an amazing experience it is being in a room with hundreds of incredible women. On Friday 25 November I was sat in a cavernous warehouse for the inaugural Women’s Equality Party Conference surrounded by over 1,500 women and men who are passionate and dedicated about revolutionary change to our everyday lives.
The evening kicked off with resounding music and incredibly inspirational speakers; including Leader of the Party, Sophie Walker and the two co-founders Catherine Mayer and Sandi Toksvig. What excited me the most however was the chair of the evening, the indomitable Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London.
Not only has Jude Kelly been an inspiration for women in the arts but also women in the Charity Sector.
I attended the Conference with Lizzi Hollis as part of Charity Women, a new group set up to tackle the existing inequalities for women in the third sector.
An inequality that many don’t see or admit exists. Two thirds of the voluntary sector is made up of women (according to NCVO) but senior positions are still heavily dominated by men in the sector – nearly a fifth of males were working at Director/CEO level compared to just under a tenth for women.
We ran a fringe session with a number of women who currently work in the charity sector; some were senior consultants, others had just started their journey in small to large charities. What became abundantly clear was there is a dearth of female role models at senior positions within the sector.
There was fantastic energy in the room and definitely the will to change the status quo through positive action and the Charity Women group was definitely the best place for this.
We agreed that a toolkit was needed, so women at all levels within the sector, no matter how small or large the organisation is, have the tools and confidence needed to make positive change.
As a sector we work so tirelessly to change the world to make it a better place for the beneficiaries we work so hard to support. We often forget to look inwards to adopt the changes that can make the workplace a better environment for all.
If you feel passionate about tackling the inequalities in the charity sector, whether that’s more women in Trustee positions, awareness raising of the incredible role models we already have in the sector or you would like to mentor other women in the sector. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and at the moment there’s opportunities to become part of the Committee.
A huge thank you to Flow Caritas for making it possible for us to attend the conference and get inspired about making our charity workplaces fairer.