International Women's Day: A volunteer's experience

IWD logoOur guest blog this month is from Ann Lohrey, one of the WayfinderWoman volunteers.  Ann has had a varied career and continues to volunteer on a regular basis, contributing and helping women succeed.

In my previous life as a working woman with a commercial company delivering careers advice to young people in schools and in the community as well as adults through outreach work International Women’s day often went by unnoticed. The company was too busy with their day-to-day running a company with very tight margins and ensuring that we were all usefully employed!

There were some local events that we were encouraged to take part in. Not intentionally these were usually seminars where attending would be considered as staff training and networking. However we were made aware of other organisations activities by our professional body NAEGA the National Association for Education Guidance and Advice.

Since becoming a volunteer with WayfinderWoman this year has been the first time that I have actively been engaged in an activity designed for International Women’s Day. While researching a project to find local women achievers for a fundraising event it was decided that we would use this as a basis for a quiz evening on 8th March – International Women’s Day.

Hidden women revealed

From text we had already prepared our ‘artist in residence’ prepared a PowerPoint Presentation complete with whizzy pictures and our quiz was born.

We approached a friendly local landlady to donate us her function room and set out marketing the quiz through every kind of social media and bullying friends to enter.

The weather that night was a typical drizzly and windy night but the pub had a roaring log fire so we were hopeful of a good attendance. What we hadn’t bargained for was that Arsenal were playing that night………

One of our audience that evening reflected that with so many strong forceful and enterprising women around nobody had heard of them. Their modern counterparts today probably were not aware of the suffering these women had endured to get women the vote, for example or even were bothering to use their vote. They heard about inventors, authors, social campaigners, entrepreneurs whose stories are hidden.

It remains ‘a job to be done’ to highlight these remarkable achievements and hopefully through our project we can start the process of raising awareness to today’s generation of young women and be a ‘force for change.’

What women in history do you know about who deserves greater recognition.  Tell us and join the conversation.