100 Women First Project – Founder Caroline Derick
We chose International Women’s Day (IWD) to hold a very special event for all our 100 Women First.
International Women’s Day is always celebrated annually on March 8th – This was perfect timing for our ladies to all meet for the first time.
The day before the event, we decorated the room with all our purple IWD products – Purple is a colour for symbolising women. We believe in balance – so we got some men from our team to help us with the heavy lifting 🙂
The idea behind the project is to redress the balance of the gender pay gap in Sedgemoor. We want to raise women’s aspirations and help them to achieve their goals, by improving confidence, skills and well-being.
The room was awash with a variety of excited and some very nervous ladies. – We like to think they all didn’t attend just for the delicious free breakfast supplied by White Feather and provided by Somerset Skills & Learning (SS&L) and that they were all here because they wanted to help themselves or their children have a better life style – which we know they were.
It was over whelming to see so many ladies and some from that very first soft launch back in December. It was lovely to catch up and hear what they have been up to. I must say I was very impressed with one lady who has attended workshops, forest schools and signed up for classes that we had advertised on our Facebook Page. I felt very humbled and so privileged to have played a part in her journey so far.
Caroline kicked off the event with a fantastic outline of the project and shared the fantastic news that she had been successful in one of her bids for funding, this ingenious project really is going to change lives.
Cllr Anne Fraser was welcomed as the ambassador to this new forward- thinking project. She soon had everyone laughing at her amusing “fish finger” story.
Jacqui Yeoell from SS&L demonstrated how we all have transferable skills and everyone got involved to learn just how marvelous we really are – but we don’t realise it. Our everyday life consists of Time Management, Problem solving, Organisational skills and Project Management and that’s every day!
However, it was our Inspirational speaker Dawn Hurd from Hurd & Co who had the audience mesmerised. Her passion for her product and her sheer determination shone through and melted all our hearts. Her journey has been far from easy and her life story was gripping, it was REAL and we could all relate to what she was telling us. She described herself as “nothing special” but mark my words she is incredible! She had the room buzzing such positivity filled the air – It was mind blowing.
I was up next……Help….! How on earth could I follow that? I gave a presentation on International Women’s Day, It’s history, what it means and why we celebrate it, my nerves kicked in and I could feel myself going red and getting very hot. However, I got through it – albeit very rushed but like Cllr Anne Fraser had said earlier “These ladies are here and listening to me!” I’m sure I’ll be better next time.
We had a delicious lunch followed by a heartwarming talk from Caroline, I am very lucky to have such a supportive Manger her passion really is infectious.
Everyone participated in making a pledge/promise to commit to help forge a more-gender-balanced world. This created a beautiful Pledge Wall which some of the ladies then used as a backdrop for IWD selfies.
What a morning, tears, cheers and new friendships.
Women really are incredible.