Tonight I was proud. I don’t normally like that word, I find it has too many negative connotations, but there’s no other way to describe the feeling thats currently taking over my chest. The first reason why is down to the wonderful friend I have recently made in Amy. I have not known her long but I already know she is kind, she has a dazzling energy and most importantly she is brave. She embarked on a new path recently after realising her old one was not for her. This path, however scary it must have started out as, is (I hope) working out for her. It has also led to the event that took place in the Vaults, Waterloo, on the 9th January. For this, she should feel very proud.
The Quarter Club “a network aimed at fiercely ambitious, creative women”, starts with a free glass of prosecco and really just gets better from that moment on. Six fantastically intelligent, witty and inspiring women stood up to talk in short bursts about the chosen topic. This time it was power. If I’m honest, I was apprehensive before I went that, a women only event, discussing Power, could easily turn into an uncomfortable conversation where Men are completely dismissed. This, thankfully, was not the case. Gender-equality within the work place and creative industries was bought up but without the trash-talk that can so easily work its way into these conversations. Ayesha Hazarika put it brilliantly when discussing how many men hold positions in parliament compared to women.
“Don’t get me wrong they’re decent guys, I’ve slept with a lot of them… but it’s still just one viewpoint”
I find, what women struggle with most when discussing gender equality is being anxious they’ll come across as these angry man-hating radical feminists. When discussing gender equality this is absolutely NOT the case. It’s not about wanting less men, it’s about needing more women. When we make up 51% of the population it’s honestly ridiculous that only 29% of MPs are female and 79% of Linkedin is male. We need better representation, there’s no debate.
Other themes revolving round power touched on, how warped the versions of people’s lives we see on Instagram are, how as a creative network we can support and build each other up and how we can chose our own narrative to be a powerful one. I listened to all the speakers in utter awe, feeling proud to be amongst such talented, forward-thinking women, feeling proud to be a woman myself.
List of Speakers
- AYESHA HAZARIKA / @ayeshahazarika – MBE, Former Labour Advisor, Political Commentator, Comedian
- SIMRAN HANS / @heavier_things – Freelance writer, Researcher and Film Programmer
- PRIYANGA BURFORD/ @priyangaburford – Actor and Writer
- CARLY-JAYNE HUTCHINSON/
- PIP JAMIESON / @Pip_Jamieson – Founder of ‘The Dots – a Creative Network’
- BELLA YOUNGER (aka Deliciously Stella)/ @bellayounger – Comedian, instagrammer and Writer
The final reason I left feeling proud, was myself. Last year I started getting anxiety attacks. It completely stripped me of the confidence and control I used to strive on. I no longer liked new experiences and being in situations I didn’t have control over. It was horrible and it took me a long time to realise that, although the attacks have practically stopped, I am not the person I was before. To try and get back to that, I am throwing myself into situations that I would previously not think about but recently have been too scared to consider. I’ve got a job as a bartender, I job I always thought I was never cool enough to do. I travelled to Poland on my own for a week and met people from across the entire globe. And tonight, I stood up in front of these inspiring women who had all shared their stories of the struggle to feel powerful and described mine. I have never felt so sick. But I did it, I got over my lack of confidence and I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again in a hurry but I’m proud of myself for putting myself in a new situation.