International Women’s Day 2023

Embracing Equity

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, this year’s theme of Embracing Equity is one which is close to my heart. I believe that one of the most important things we can do to truly #embraceequity is empower women to believe in themselves, their ability and the opportunities available to them from a young age.

Thanks to the volunteering time made available through JensonR+ Connected, I am lucky enough to volunteer for two organisations that encourage and facilitate this empowerment for young women.

The first is a local programme run by Exeter City Council called Empowering Girls. It is specifically designed to allow them to explore their future potential and build confidence, alongside developing aspirations. Through this programme, I have been matched with local girl to mentor her through discussions about her strengths, passions and potential future career paths. The programme is made available to teenage girls who would benefit from more one to one time to empower them to open up and gain confidence, a true example of embracing equity. Whilst we have only had two sessions so far, we have already discovered so many similarities in our personalities and experiences, and I look forward to seeing where the next few weeks take us.

Alongside this, I also volunteer as an Independent Visitor on a longer term basis with a fantastic national charity called NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service). In this role, I have committed to spending a few hours a month on outings with a teenage girl who lives in care, to provide her with friendship, support and guidance. This service is invaluable to young people in care, providing them with a relationship that is independent of the other relationships they may have with social workers and carers, and one in which someone has chosen to spend that time with them. A huge part of this friendship is supporting the young person in building the confidence to believe in and value themselves. Having known each other for almost a year, we now enjoy our monthly catch ups and cover many topics from hair and make up to challenging situations they are going through.

I strongly believe that through spending one to one time with young women, understanding their individual needs, and really getting to know them, we can gently build their belief in themselves and therefore their confidence. Laying these strong foundation now will lead to a future founded on equity.

Tanya Rowe
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