Us girls are having a bit of a moment aren’t we? And rightly so. Combined with the #metoo and #timesup campaigns, International Women’s Day had even more poignance for me than ever this year. I’m aware International Women’s day was a few weeks ago now, but I’ve left this post until now because I don’t want there to be a flurry of activity around a certain date and then the dialogue ends. If you’re reading this, I want you to continue the conversation and continue to stand your ground as a women. I’m aware there is debate surrounding International Women’s Day from both men and women and fighting for both sides on of the argument. But I want you to read this a focus on what it does or doesn’t mean to you. Ps, International Men’s Day is November 19th, and I will be there celebrating in solidarity for all the marvellous men in my life.
I have been very fortunate with my life. I come from a stable family, I’ve been well-educated and I’m currently studying at a very good University. I try to make every effort to never take this for granted or forget that for many women, life has not be so kind. I feel like you could speak to any women and they’ve all had their run in with sexism, whether its being whistled at out of a car window or not being paid the equivalent as their male counterparts. I like to focus on the outcome and how you transform feeling uncomfortable and marginalised into making a change. That’s why, following International Women’s Day 2018, I wanted to create a post that could possible help and transform the life of another woman, even if it’s just one. I’ve chosen to dedicate this post to the charity THE YOUNG WOMEN’S TRUST.
The YWT supports young women aged 16-30 in England Wales, who are struggling to live on little or no pay and are at risk of being trapped in poverty. YWT aim to demonstrate the reality of women’s lives, demonstrate what works to make a difference to women’s lives the developing and testing new ways to campaign and raise awareness and gather the views and voices of young women so you know that you WILL be heard.
YWT work in three ways:
- GIVING YOU A VOICE – through participation and advocacy, YWT ensure that you can take part.
- CAMPAIGNS – the YWT run campaigns for change so that they can make a positive impact on the lives of young women today.
- SUPPORT YOU – YWT have an amazing and unique service called ‘Work It Out’, providing free telephone and online coaching and job application support for young women.
What I find so inspiring about the YWT is that they give everybody a voice no matter what your walk of life. Their ‘Work it Out’ initiative not only helps women get back on their feet financially but helps women regain control of their lives through their new found confidence. 68% of women said that they found going into a job centre stressful. Following these findings YWT are calling for more flexible and personalised support for young women entering the world of work. YWT also found that only 19% of women found the job centre a useful resource for finding a job, the YWT provide an alternate FREE service to help with CV building, job applications and interview training. The ‘Work It Out’ initiative is really easy to access, simply upload your CV, application or cover letter and you will receive 1-2 pages of feedback within the following 5 working days. This service is completely free and I cannot stress how valuable this service is, for more information click here.
Now, you may not have a CV or have a clue as to what direction you want to be heading in. This is where the second part of ‘Work It Out’ gets its moment to shine. YWT provide a free coaching service where you can sign up for one-to-one advice from a professional coach. Your coach can help you from figuring out the future, to mental health to relationships, they really are on hand to support young women with taking the next few steps in life. Coaching is done remotely over the phone or even Whatsapp if that more convenient for you and women will receive 1-6 sessions with their personal coach. ‘Work It Out’ helped 1,097 women between 2016 and 2017 so if you’re in need of a little extra advice or support, or know someone who you think will benefit from this service, send them in this direction.
Finally, you may be reading this and may not require any of the services that YWT provide, yet, like me, you love and are passionate about the work that they do. If so, there are plenty of ways to get involved, you can follow the YWT on social media, donate to the cause or join a campaign. You can also become a Young Women’s Champion, for a £3 donation a month, you’ll be a frontline for fighting for gender equality, campaigning and fundraising for the lives of young women. If becoming a champion sounds like something you’d be interested in, have a look here for some more information.
Finally, you don’t have to be a card-carrying feminist to realise that we all struggle with our own personal battles against gender inequality. We have come a long way, but we truly do have a long way to go. I hope that shedding light on the amazing work that the YWT do has opened your eyes to ways in which you can get involved and support the campaign for change. And if by chance, you’re reading this and you’ve wolf-whistled a girl out or grabbed someone’s bum in a club, stop doing that shit, none of us like it. Remember, empowered women empower women. Be everyone’s cheerleader and never forget your own self worth, as a women.
The Young Women’s Trust
Urgent calls: 020 7600 7451
Work It Out coaching: 0808 808 8099
Cover image: Labyrinth of Collages