A female entrepreneur said to me, “Why do I feel guilty? I apologise to clients because I have to pick my children up from school. Somehow businesswomen aren’t supposed to have children.”
A woman with a PhD in music and a glittering career said nervously, “’but I’m only a little girl from Essex.” A student says she’s not confident she can make it in the hurly burly of a competitive market place. Three women in their forties and fifties, under or over-qualified, and long-term unemployed feel de-skilled, have no self-confidence and in a negative spiral. A 30-year old who quit when her shifts were re-arranged because she couldn’t find child-care is now angry and feeling devalued.
These are just a small sample of the barriers that woman are faced with when it comes to finding their way through the workplace. Sometimes it’s because that’s the way the workplace is but often it’s because of internal barriers: a lack of confidence, a belief that they can’t be ‘good enough’ or they’re not skilled enough.
Do you feel like that? Are you a woman knowing you can do more, can do better but not sure how?
This is why we set up WayfinderWoman, a volunteer-led social enterprise (The Wayfinder Group CIC) relying entirely on grants and donations, to support women and young girls to overcome barriers such as these. This ranges from one-to-one coaching, group support, workshops on building confidence, dealing with social media, learning IT. A part-time drop-in advice centre at 106 Seaside Road, (Tuesday and Wednesday 10.00am-3.00pm most weeks) provide work experience, business coaching, seminars and conferences, inspirational blogs, links to self-help items and the building of a mutual support community. Details of current events is on the website www.wayfinderwoman.com
And now we need volunteers for our latest exciting project! Funded by the Heritage Lottery we can take women who are hidden by circumstances today (unemployment, caring responsibilities, health issues etc) and train them in research, interviewing and recording skills. They’ll then research influential women who are hidden in Eastbourne’s past.
We’ll put all of the information onto a specially designed website, train other women how it’s built and maintain it, how to operate social media. We’ll have an exhibition and women’ll learn about event management, publicity, networking. The next step is to train more women to talk to schools and community groups about the research, encourage people to investigate their own female ancestry and add it to the website.
As a result we’ll have women with new skills and confidence better able to enter the workplace or become entrepreneurs. Residents will know about Eastbourne’s influential women and young girls will have much needed role models.
It doesn’t matter whether you have experience, or not, whether history is your passion, or not, if you’re female and want to get involved in what will be a truly exciting project then get in touch for more information. email firstname.lastname@example.org