Building a Bigger Table
The Spice Girls are (so we hear) getting back together. We've just celebrated 100 years since women got the right to vote in the UK and women worldwide are opening up about stories of injustice in a (largely) open and non-judgemental media. Female entrepreneurial networks, supportive work spaces and women-only investment portfolios are spreading like glorious wild fire and there's more than just a whiff of girl power in the air right now.
It's not just in the office where change is happening. Galentine's Day - as the name suggests - is a holiday that supports and celebrates female friendships. Since its accidental conception in 2010 it's now becoming more popular than its traditional counterpart - with The Independent reporting that Pinterest searches for "Galentine's Day Ideas' have seen a whopping 1780% increase year-on-year.
I went to an incredible business panel last week put on by Liz at For Working Ladies called 'Changing Lanes'. The event was rich in wisdom, inspiration and experiences. All women had come through different journeys and had different opinions on how to find success.
The message I took home was that there is no magic formula that any successful woman or man can give you to propel you into superstardom or contentment.
But by attending events, reading good literature and sharing stories, you know that the support is there. This is a more honest, strong and resilient method than the American dream style 'you can have it all' message we have been so often bombarded with.
This is the new backbone of women supporting women. It doesn't make the journey easy but it will make it 'not lonely'. NB. I tried to find a non-clumsy word that meant 'not lonely' but despite searching far and wide that word seemingly doesn't exist. Suggestions on a postcard :)
I'm pleased as punch to be able to represent Bumble in Manchester and programme their events and partnerships across the city. The world's first 'female first' app, they live and breathe empowering women in dating, networking and friendships and are making some incredible waves worldwide.
For more Manchester and UK female inspiration look no further than the amazing three below.
Nrth Lass. A print magazine with a passion for northern charm. Reporting from five major cities, NRTH LASS aims to empower and inspire women in business, start-ups, art, literature, parenthood, travel, and leisure.
One Girl Band. One of the panelists at For Working Ladies's event, Lola has founded the One Girl Band collective where women from all walks of life can support and nurture one another, with no judgement or malice.
Bumble. Known to many as a dating app, Bumble now has BFF and Bizz which pair you up with some rocking gals and guys in the friendship and business arenas. If you haven't given it a go, try it - it's free!