Today is ‘International Women’s Day’. It has been running for over 100 years, starting in 1911. Quite amazing and I am sure you’ll agree that women have come a long way since then. Did you know that it is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future? In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. It’s hard to believe isn’t it, that only just over 100 years ago the situation for women was oppression and inequality? This spurred women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
Fast forward to 2015 and great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school-girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. As we have seen recently, there is still some room for improvement. Patricia Arquette spoke out at the Oscars to remind us that even in the most developed areas of the world, women still do not have equal pay. The colour for IWD is purple – the reason being that the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) adopted the colours purple, green and white in homage to the suffrage movement. Purple signified justice and dignity – two values strongly associated with equality. The colours were used as rosettes, badges and banners to show support to the cause. I shall be attending a IDW event later today and will proudly be wearing purple. To hear more about the colour purple – please see my recent blog.
The other activity I took part in, which also coincided with IWD was a Coaching Flash Mob yesterday in Derby. It was a first on several counts. It was the first flash mob in Derby, it was the first all female team – completely coincidental, but a happy serendipitous moment nonetheless. It was also the first flash mob that was not organised by founder of Our People’s Coach Shivani Mair. This one was expertly planned and managed by Angela Armstrong. She was a fantastic leader, keeping us all motivated all day long. It also means that OPC is more scalable, with ambitions to grow the flash mobs world-wide. I had the privilege of being a coaching assistant on the day and this definitely took me outside of my comfort zone! It was my job, along with the other assistants, to support the coaches and to keep them fed with a constant supply of coachees. My resilience has been increased from the sheer amount of times I got told ‘no’! I even had a ‘not today thank you’, which made me laugh! We had a glorious sunny spring day and between us, the team had 130 powerful conversations with the good people of Derby. The aim was to educate people about what coaching is and to deliver speed coaching sessions in 10 minutes. It’s amazing what shifts can happen in just 10 minutes. If you are a coach and would like to get involved, check out the website – link above.
Aside from anything else, I learned some great lessons and was inspired to volunteer for more of these flash mobs in future. I also met some great coaches and made some new friendships. A powerful day that I am still buzzing from!
Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA – Managing Director, First Impressions Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI) She is also Director of Regional Events at FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching. First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map. Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.firstimpressions.uk.com