Courage, #WomenEd #MonthlyWritingChallenge

The Lioness – Courageous, a hunter 90% of the time to provide for her family

I have written this blog for two reasons: the first is to introduce the vision for WomenEd Taiwan, an amazing group I have been part of now since August 2021. The second is to hopefully give others the courage to take that first step in believing in themselves and activating their ‘voice’.

When I thought of the word courage, I immediately looked up the image of a lion, not a lioness. I have been following #WomenEd now for a year, but still, my head is embedded with certain images so that I still default to a male. However, it is the lioness that is truly brave and courageous. She is the hunter, seeking food to provide for her family, ninety percent of the time. The lion is the protector, ‘watching out’ for the females.

Yet, I believe courage signifies leaving what you know, into the wild so to speak, to do what is needed for you and your family. Lionesses rear their children in packs and hunt in packs. Their strength comes from supporting one another. Lions hunt solo.

The lioness is strong, courageous and a collaborator, exactly as we are, as females.

WomenEd Taiwan represents these values. Supporting one another to excel is my drive as founder. This is the vision. We support all in education: teaching assistants, specialists, teachers, leaders, and aspiring leaders, and everyone in between. When we have a chance to discuss, collaborate, and share our ideas with experts in the field, we grow and become more confident. Knowledge is key and being informed allows us to be courageous and help others to find their courage.

Many of us are quiet, lack confidence, unsure, and carry ‘imposter syndrome’ when we try anything new. THIS WAS ME. However, I have grown courageous. Through the constant affirmations from others, I have begun to shake off that imposter syndome. I have begun to feel that we do need more female leaders in education and we need to strive to get ourselves there and not just accept the situation to be ‘just what it is’.

Through attending webinars watching and learning from courageous, strong women, I felt strength. I attended Hannah Wilson’s #IamRemarkable workshop (I recommend all of you to attend this) and I saw women who were experiencing bias in the workplace. This workshop gave them the strength to understand that this was not right and they needed to fight for change. This is what I hope, and wish, WomenEd Taiwan will offer those who attend our events. If it helps just one of us, to have a little more courage to become #10%braver, then our goal is achieved.

So, if you feel nervous about attending an event, please don’t. Please be assured the majority of the participants will also feel this way. If you think that WomenEd Taiwan is only for teachers, it is not. It’s for every person in education who identifies as female, as well as #heforshe advocates who could benefit and support what we discuss. Find your courage to come and join us.

We have been finding our way in WomenEd Taiwan, and I’m sorry if perhaps our vision wasn’t clear from the start. We all are volunteers with no prior experience of setting up a grass-roots organisation to help make the world that little bit better. But as we grow, we know what we are. We are non-selective, inclusive, kind, individuals who come together to offer solutions. No problem is too small and we hope to help others in anyway we can.

Upcoming events:

#WomenEd Tw CV clinic, Saturday 19th February 5pm online

Jess Gosling (author), Lydia Ann Smith (Recruitment Consultant) and two Headteachers will join this workshop and clinic, on how to create and develop a strong CV.

#WomenEd Tw #BreaktheBias Face-to-Face meetup Women’s Day event, Saturday 19th March, 2.00pm-4pm, ShiLin

Jess, Jaya and Jessica present a section of videos which show a problem in terms of gender bias. We will discuss as small groups possible solutions for each video, to support one another. There will be an open forum discussion for all interested, to talk through any issues in the workplace. Option to continue discussions in a nearby coffee shop.

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