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International Women’s Day 2024

 As International Women’s day approaches we wanted to dedicate a blog post to all the fantastic and accomplished women here at Tribe.

 

Women’s work whether it is paid or voluntary is often hidden or at best undervalued. Not to mention that we are simply far too humble to even consider self promotion. We wanted to take a moment to share and shout about some amazing achievements and work produced by some of our members over the past year. 

 

International Womens Day 2024-Anna MoffatAnna Moffat- Photographer

Anna Moffat is a photographer based in Edinburgh (and beyond). Her style revolves around capturing authentic moments with creativity and attention to detail and providing emotive and engaging images. Recently, Anna has photographed amazing individuals such as Dr. Merritt Moore who recently conquered her dream of being both a Quantum Physicist and a professional ballet dancer.

Anna has worked with Holyrood Magazine and recently picked up an award from PPA Scotland for her portrait of Labour MSP Pam Duncan.

 

“Thank you PPA Scotland for the award – I still can’t quite believe it! Also thanks to @holyroodmagazine for the opportunity”

 


Olivia Furness- Executive Director, Oi Musica International Womens Day 2024- Olivia Furness

Olivia Furness is a firm believer in music’s power to make change.  She has designed and delivered a wide variety of projects and programmes that have brought benefits to both the community and people involved. In April 2023 Oli was awarded professional development funding to spend 2.5 weeks in Cuba studying various styles of Aforcuban percussion.

In 2023 Brass Blast took home the Community Award from Creative Edinburgh.

“We’re still buzzing after scooping the Community Award for our youth project Brass Blast at the Creative Edinburgh Awards in November! The project is a proactive response to the disproportionately low numbers of disadvantaged young people taking up instruments in East Edinburgh, so we are over the moon to be recognised for the change that Brass Blast is making in our community.”

 


 

International Womens Day 2024- Jo Tennant

Jo Tennant-Photographer & Founder, 20 photos

Jo Tennant is an award-winning photographer and founder of 20 Photos, a creative service that curates hundreds of digital photos into 20 beautiful fine-art prints.

In 2023 Jo had two family photographs shortlisted for the Scottish Portrait Awards:

“One photo was shot on my phone and the other on a 1980s film camera. Our own personal photos have importance  and meaning and should be seen. We should photograph those we love and their idiosyncrasies which we want to remember. This is why I took those photos. Not for the awards- I just submitted the two photos I took this year that I loved the most”

Last year, Jo also had a feature in Stylist magazine about launching her business 20 Photos during the pandemic. She spoke to them about upskilling and taking the next steps. Read the full article here.

 


 

Rachel Mulrenan- Scotland Director, Wild fish

Rachel is the Scotland Director of WildFish, an independent charity in the UK campaigning for wild fish and their environment.

A significant area of focus for Rachel is the environmental degradation caused by open-net salmon farming. In collaboration with other like-minded organisations, WildFish calls for an end to this destructive industry. Open-net salmon farming has a hugely detrimental impact on wild fish and their habitats – from the spread of sea lice and disease to the environmental effects of the chemicals and antibiotics used on aquaculture farms.

Rachels work has featured in The Guardian and you can listen to a podcast she featured on about the damaging effects of Salmon Farming here.

 


 

Briana PegadoBriana Pegado- Author

It would be wrong of us to not mention our host for our International Women’s Day event, Briana Pegado. 

Briana Pegado FRSA is an author, fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and festival founder. With nearly a decade’s experience as an award- winning social entrepreneur in the creative industries in Scotland. She works as an anti-racism, governance, and strategy consultant particularly in the creative industries.

A central theme in her work is how disrupting systems, processes, sectors, and ways of thinking can facilitate positive change. Her new book Make Good Trouble: A Guide to the Energetics of Disruption launches on 09 April 2024 and is available for pre-order now.

 

 


Sandy Brindley, Kathryn Dawson and Niamh Kerr 

Sandy is the Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn is the Director of Prevention & Training and Niamh Kerr is the Prevention Manager at Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS), Scotland’s leading organisation working to transform attitudes, improve responses and ultimately to end rape and sexual violence in all its forms.

RCS works with a network of 17 independent local Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland who provide trauma-informed support to more than 6000 survivors annually. It runs a national helpline with support and information for anyone affected by sexual violence open daily from 5pm – midnight, 365 days a year. They also support the National Advocacy Project to support anyone thinking of reporting or engaged in the system to navigate the justice process from start to finish. Its Prevention work takes an evidence-based approach. Working with young people in schools and communities across Scotland looking at issues like consent and healthy relationships. It also campaigns to change and challenge the attitudes that underpin sexual violence as well as on specific issues like funding for services and access to justice.

The support Rape Crisis Centres across Scotland offer can be truly lifesaving. When a survivor reaches out for that support, they need to receive it then. Not weeks or months later. But this is the reality facing too many survivors across Scotland. In 2021, the Scottish Government delivered emergency funding to tackle waiting lists. But even with this funding, demand for lifesaving Rape Crisis support is outstripping the resources available to Rape Crisis Centres to serve survivors. This emergency funding is due to run out in March 2024. If it isn’t extended, 28 specialist Rape Crisis support workers will lose their jobs meaning survivors will be forced to wait even longer for support. To support their campaign and find out more click here.

 


Reema Vadoliya-Founder,  people of dataInternational Womens Day 2024- Reema Vadoliya

This year Reema joined Tribe as part of the Creative Informatics inclusive innovation working spaces fund. Reema is a tireless advocate for inclusion in data with expertise gained through multiple roles within the data industry and the founder of People of Data. Their mission is to challenge how organisations think about data in order to maximise impact and centralise inclusion. 

You can listen to a podcast with Reema where she discusses the importance of looking at data inclusively. Reema emphasises the power of data by telling impactful stories .Click here to listen.

Reema will also be hosting our March Tribe Talks, this is a free workshop and is open to all. Click here to find out more.

 

 


 

Louise MasonLouise Mason- Presenter, producer & Journalist

Louise Mason is a radio presenter, music journalist and producer. Last year with her cousin Fran she took on a Tuk Tuk challenge where they raced across Sri Lanka to raise money for Childrens Adventure Farm Trust. 

“Between all the teams the donations so far have helped over 5500 families and counting” 

Recently, Louise also presented a show for Peace Frequences, a 24hr broadcast to mark International Human Rights Day. Louise’s show gave voices to poets and artists who have contributed to the Manchester to Palestine compilation which raised money for Gaza. 

You can find out more about Louise and donate to her charitable causes by clicking here.

 

 


 

Whilst International Women’s Day serves as an important day to celebrate women’s achievements, it is also a reminder that we must all still strive for gender equity in society. We must not settle. In doing so, workplaces and society at large can gain new perspectives, ideas and inspire inclusion. 

 

Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 2024. We are hosting an evening of poetry and discussion with Briana Pegado. Click here for more information and book your ticket. All proceeds will be donated to Edinburgh Women’s Aid.

 

You can read all of our previous blogs by clicking here. Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletters by filling out the form below:

 

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Step up for Pride

Pride is more than a party, for allies of the community it’s an important time to step up and create inclusive change.

Pride March Edinburgh

 

I found it hard at times to write this year’s pride blog post. I knew I wanted to write a piece about creating inclusive culture and finding strength in community, but it’s hard to write about something that you feel should be an obvious and rightful norm. I’ve always been an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, even as a youngster before the concept of an ally existed to me. So sometimes when I speak of allyship, it frustrates me because my brain can’t see it any other way.

But I have also seen friends targeted by bigotry and hate, I’ve seen friends struggle to defend their identity, I’ve seen the consequences of an innocent person being forced to be someone they are not. Sometimes it is important to remember that you as a person are shaped by the world around you. It can become hard at times to sympathise with the ‘it was different in my day’ notion. That’s why Pride is important and that’s why spreading this message is important. 

 

“I was not and had never been a part of a queer community, how to access such a thing was not just a mystery but an impossibility. The loss of which was sizable. Agony in isolation, the shame and pain that I thought was mine alone.” Elliot Page: Pageboy 

How to contribute to Pride

Pride is a time to celebrate, congregate and highlight the progress that society still needs to make. Pride is a time to spark conversations, collaborations and bring attention to both achievements and injustices all over the world. As businesses, it’s time for us to step up, contribute in meaningful ways and show our communities that we are always a safe space.

To truly be involved with pride celebrations is to contribute in meaningful ways and further the cause of LGBTQ+ rights and equality. The corporate world sees far too many important issues ‘washed’ and pride is not exempt to this. Highlighting issues around consumerism and ‘washing’ shows the growing recognition that businesses have towards actively cultivating inclusion and diversity. Every person deserves to feel safe and whilst progress has been made it’s still not enough. The past decade has seen an ever growing rise in reported hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. We must remember that inequalities and barriers still exist and we must do what is in our own reach to help. 

 

One in five LGBTQ+ people were the target of negative comments at work.

Over a third of LGBTQ+ people feel they need to hide who they are at work.

One in five feel that being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities.
-Britain in Work Report

What it means to be an ally

Being an ally is an ongoing mission and is more than putting up a flag once a month, this is at best tokenistic. We often believe in the myth of individualism, that we are independent from each other and the natural world. Whilst we do have individual agency, we show our true strengths when we collaborate and we become stronger when we act together. To move past tokenistic gestures, let’s work together to build stronger communities, safer spaces and secure workplaces. 

Even when you as an individual, an employee or an employer have good intentions, unfortunately there isn’t a button for instant inclusion. Instead it is an ongoing, ever evolving journey. Much the same, there is not a singular template that forms an inclusive workplace. Inclusivity should be seen as a process, not a quick fix. 

The best employers recognise the value in taking proactive steps to create inclusive culture and there is a wealth of information out there, the internet can be a magical place! Starting points can be as simple as developing clear policies against discrimination, diversity training and the most obvious, taking action on LGBTQ+ employee and customer feedback. As an employee, it may at times feel like an impossible task to generate change. As an ally, use your privilege to speak up and have difficult conversations with managers and bosses.

Step up and use your privilege

Being asked to understand your privilege is not an attack, it is simply acknowledging that you feel safe and valued in everyday life and recognizing that not everyone has the same experience. You can put this to work by being an effective ally and advocate for others. 

I often hear people talking around inclusive culture like it’s an impossible and bewildering task. It is okay to feel lost at times in an ever changing world, but do not stand idly by and become part of the problem. It is up to you to educate yourself, it is not someone else’s job to give you a lesson on gender identity. Engage with the LGBTQ+ community, work with other businesses that do it well and stand up for what is right. By networking with other members of the community you will not only show strong allyship, but gain invaluable experience and knowledge. 

 

Not sure how to step up? Start here: 

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Each month, we offer Tribe Talks. A free evening hosted by a Tribe member or friend of Tribe. We are so excited to share that our next Tribe Talk is to celebrate Porty Pride! Our Porty Pride poetry evening will be hosted by the wonderful author and poet, Anne Pia. Click here to find out more and book your free ticket. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Let’s talk about Menopause

 

“Around one in five women report experiencing health challenges relating to menstruation or menopause. Among the 15% of women who report experiencing health challenges related to menstruation, over 40% say they work through the pain and discomfort.”-Women at Work

 

If not now, when?

I am 26, I was not educated about menopause at school. I feel as though I was barely educated about periods at school. And here I am now, writing a blog post about menopause, some of you are thinking, ‘little young to be writing this’. But therein lies the problem. And whilst we’re talking directly, men, you should keep reading too. The only information I have been exposed to about menopause is through mainstream media. Even then, it is at most a joke about a character going through the change and experiencing hot flushes and dryness…

By not educating people from a younger age about menopause, it neglects the notion that it even happens. Like it’s make believe or that you will somehow naturally have the resources to hand when the time comes. I remember hitting puberty and my mum panic throwing books my way titled ‘have you started yet?’ and ‘girls only’. The illustrations on the covers would have teen girls whispering between themselves, this only reinforced the stigma of periods needing to be an uncomfortable secret, never to be spoken openly about. 

Thankfully (hopefully?), we have come away from this. Which as I grow older I see growing importance in. By gendering menstruation and menopause we only gate-keep vital and important information and care from the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken a long time, and I am still in the process of understanding my ever changing menstrual cycle. Thankfully, I’ve always felt a strong attachment to understanding my body’s natural process and hormone fluctuation. I only started to meet and converse with others that felt this way in my twenties. 

I guess the point I am trying to make is that if it has taken 13 years (that’s 156 cycles!) to get to grips with periods, I can only imagine the loss of control one would feel during perimenopause. When we think about menopause, we should think in terms of the time taken to complete the whole process, much like we do with puberty.

 

“The Change” unfortunately still generally remains a taboo subject, even amongst many women. That’s why we need to talk about it, to your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, children – anyone. And for those dealing with this, or about to, it’s so important to learn about it. Do your research and approach your GP armed with the facts and knowledge.”-Menopause Mandate

 

Finding yourself in Community.

The most powerful conversations I have had with friends and confidants have sparked from one person saying to the other an honest or uncomfortable truth. No matter the subject, be it partners, periods or mental health, a friend saying I’ve felt that or I’ve experienced that too can completely shift your mindset. You are no longer alone or alienated in your feelings and experiences. It’s in this scary sweet spot that experiences and knowledge can be shared.

This is also why menstrual health should not become a gendered conversation. How can we gain vital support from our partners and loved ones if they also have no clue or understanding over what’s going on? Being in touch with yourself, at all stages of life is a crucial ally to your wellbeing. Even when looking into the future is a scary prospect, understanding your body’s natural processes and forming a connection ultimately influences your comfort and welfare.

 

“A strong theme coming through from research on this issue is that perimenopausal symptoms ‘can be quite disruptive and distressing, particularly when women do not know why these things are happening to them in the first place’. If their partners do not know either, we have the seeds for an inauthentic challenge to even the most healthy of relationships.” -Richard Hull

 

When we can’t rely on governments and policies to support and educate us, this is when community and allyship becomes a necessity. With that in mind, we took to our community to ask questions about menopause, here’s what they had to say:

 

“When I think about menopause I feel old. I know so little about menopause I cannot answer the question of how we can improve workplaces to support those going through the menopause. I feel that education about menopause should happen at an early age, and we need to integrate healthy conversations into popular culture, to all sexes.”

 

“When I think about menopause I feel unprepared and in denial despite it being inevitable. We need to fully recognise that women’s normal health is very different from mens. In terms of changes that need to be made in the workplace, I have no idea where to start. I am not sure if I would have been open to being taught about menopause when still under the influence of teachers at school. That said, reproductive health education at school (in the 90’s) felt abstract and surface. For fertility and pregnancy there is no end of advice and information backed up from the NHS with information and appointments with health professionals, and even then there are still gaps. I am also not sure medicalising menopause or any aspect of a woman’s reproductive health is empowering. Being able to notice, examine and interpret the clues of one’s own body is probably the best. So how do we teach that? And if so, starting as young as possible is best… a useful tool for both sexes.”

 

“I have lots of feelings about menopause, but ultimately I am trying to rethink menopause like I tried to rethink birthing. It can be a wonderful thing yet mostly what we see are the horrors, the blood, the screaming women. What about the other side? The euphoria, the baby bliss, the overwhelming feeling of awe and love. So although I’m not there yet, I’m trying to think about the potential new wisdom that comes with menopause. The freedom to have some painless and bloodless months. The change in hormones that lead to changes in your body and mind. I’m not entertaining the old, dried up, wrinkled, useless characters of a postmenopausal woman. We need more awareness and research in the same way impotence is given.  There is five times more research into erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men, than into premenstrual syndrome, which affects 90% of women. And menopause happens to 50% of the population and 100% of women! We also need more research to combat the Women’s Health Initiative Study confusion over HRT.”

 


 

Each month, we offer a free talk open to the public. Our next Tribe Talk will be delivered by Yellow Empress Acupuncture. Hannah will be offering an evening around self-care for perimenopause with holistic perspectives for a healthy transition. To find out more and to book your free space, click here. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts, keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter below! You can find our previous blog posts by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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Embrace Equity

International Women’s Day is on the 8th of March. This years theme is Embrace Equity. But what does equity mean and how do we embrace something that isn’t always there?

What is Equity?

“An equitable outcome is one where every individual from every demographic has the opportunity to reach their full potential resulting in more economic opportunity for everyone.”

Imani Dunbar

The simple definition of equity refers to fairness and justice. Whilst it is easy to list it as a synonym to equality, it is in fact a very different matter. Equality fights for the same for everyone, expecting that this will make people equal. However, this wrongly assumes that we all start out in the same place. Inequality affects many people, historically it has and continues to block marginalized communities. 

Equality revolves around the concept of fairness, which makes things tricky as it is often assumed that being fair means that everybody should get the same thing. Equality is only fair if we all start with the same things, equality only works in a world where we are all equal to begin with. The only way to truly remove these barriers is through personalized approaches. 

The goal of equity is to change systemic and structural barriers that get in the way of people’s ability to thrive.  Equity acknowledges that people do not begin life in the same place and unfortunately, evolving circumstances make it increasingly difficult for people to achieve the same goals. Despite leaps of progress, women are still under-represented in the workplace. Even more so, inequality affects people of colour, people with disabilities, economically disadvantaged groups and those in the LGBTQ+ community. This is why equity is so important, peoples experiences are diverse and reach beyond gender. 

What does it mean to Embrace Equity?

“ 42% of young women have experienced discrimination whilst working or looking for work. Furthermore, 73% of women experience bias at work—yet less than a third of employees are able to recognize bias when they see it.”

Young Women’s Trust: Annual Survey 2022

Whether it is deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it not only harder for women to get hired, but it blocks promotion and career progression. Aside from this, it negatively impacts day to day life. Finding connection and support at work is a major challenge. Since most senior leaders are men, women are less likely to have access to mentors who can not only relate to their experiences, but promote important change. 

Significant numbers of young women are in precarious financial situations, this hardship is only spurred on in the ongoing cost of living crisis. Young Women’s Trust: Annual Survey 2022 found that 44% of young women have been offered zero hour contracts in 2022, compared to 33% of young men. 

Active Allyship in the Workplace 

“Women and underrepresented groups alone cannot solve diversity and inclusion problems. An ally is a person who stands up for others to proactively build inclusion in our workplace”

Rosanna Durruthy

So how do we as individuals, or as employers, managers or coworkers ‘Embrace Equity’ in a system which is flawed? One vital way is to become an active ally. Active Allyship in the workplace means that we as individuals must put in the groundwork to not only examine, but confront personal and systematic bias. When we not only witness, but acknowledge bias we can then build actionable change. 

Active Allyship is arguably the most important catalyst to not only build but drive inclusion in our workplaces and communities. It must become a daily practice sustained through not only action, but education. Rosanna Durruthy writes about the importance of connection in order to “explore where you can be creating opportunities, build professional bonds and act as a resource and advocate for others in your professional community”.

Ok things have improved over time, but this doesn’t mean we should settle. Nor does it mean that we should overlook barriers that disadvantage groups still face. Make the commitment to yourself to become an active ally, ensure that people’s rights are upheld and respected. It is important to create communities that revolve around compassionate accountability. Remember, your perspective will always be limited by your own circumstances and personal biases. Keep listening, sharing and growing and actively drive for inclusive culture. It is only through embracing equity that we can achieve equality. 

 

Get involved with International Women’s Day:

International Women’s Day Events

Tribe Porty: Celebrate International Women’s Day

Keystone Women: Find Your Community

Building an Equitable Workplace Culture For All

Edinburgh Women’s Aid: Challenge 50 Fundraiser

 

Share your thoughts and keep in touch by signing up  to our newsletter below!

Thanks for reading,

 Alice.

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