‘10% braver’ – learnings from WomenEd Thailand

‘Be 10% braver’ is the (now surely really well-known) call to action from the WomenEd movement, which aims to support and connect aspiring and existing women leaders in education, … and I was 10% braver on Saturday last week as I said ‘sure, I will speak!’ at the WomenEd Thailand Career Clinic. It was all online, of course, and was attended by a number of fantastic women leaders from the region; I was speaking as an LSC Education Associate and coach about my insights into the pandemic, and how this has changed some patterns in international school leadership recruitment, while others have remained very much the same … bias (conscious or unconscious) didn’t just disappear because the world was overtaken by Covid in 2020.

I had such an uplifting time! It was fantastic to feel the sense of community and energy in the (virtual) room, as many women spoke up in a safe, encouraging and vibrant space about their frustrations and successes in looking for leadership roles. What was striking was how they presented as articulate, thoughtful, obviously highly competent, and clearly stalwarts of education; why, then, should they find hurdles in their way to apply for leadership roles in schools?

One of WomenEd’s commitments is to help women leaders progress in their leadership career by working to remove systemic and organisational barriers to this progress, and this session was part of this commitment. If I were to capture the 2 messages that seemed to emerge, these would be: ‘work at knowing and believing in yourself’, and ‘remember – we are all part of creating positive change’. Neither of these messages will be unusual for educators, because they live and breathe them every day … for their students, though! What this event reminded us all (including me) is that we all have a role to play to help make this world a better place, and when we can do something, we should.

Together, we are of course stronger … and the value of community, co-operation, and generosity of spirit in supporting others to become the best of themselves, in order to help and support others, is not to be underestimated. So … in sharing these thoughts more widely, I want to offer a shout-out to the fantastic WomenEd Thailand team. You are all fab, and you have so much to give the world. Go for it!!!

Let’s make the world better …

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