2023 wrapped: a message from our founder
Here at The Female Lead, we have been reflecting on all that has happened this year and thinking about our exciting plans for 2024.
A reflection of 2023
As we head towards the holiday season, I think we are all painfully aware of the two huge conflicts playing out in our world today. My heart goes out to all those women and families who are suffering and who can’t get access to the essential ingredients of life; those who are struggling to maintain any sense of normalcy after bitter loss and grief. These are brutal times and I’m sure we would all like to pay tribute to those caught up in this living hell. Here are a couple of charities I support if you’re in a position to be able to make a donation;
Nearer to home, millions of us are worried about the cost of living, heating bills as the weather hits the lowest annual temperatures and warnings about the environment where we feel earth’s clock counting down, especially as we watch ‘Planet Earth III’ with a rather more subdued David Attenborough. It’s tough all round.
But in the midst of all of this, there have been some big moments of positivity in 2023 that are worth celebrating. At The Female Lead, our mission is to make life more equal for women and to spotlight change for good. So we wanted to highlight some of the progress we’ve seen this year…
This year Harvard Professor Claudia Goldin was awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics for transforming our academic understanding of the women’s labour market. What a result for women!
2023 was also the sixth anniversary of #MeToo by Tarana Burke. One of the main lessons from the #MeToo movement was about people’s ability to come together and use their voice to make real cultural progress. Women using their voices and finding community can drive change with regards to all the intersecting issues impacting gender equality; from workplace harassment to gender pay gaps, to sexual health controls and child care demands. All of these issues impact whether women are financially secure, if they have access to health care, and if they are able to shape the trajectory of their own lives and, as a collective, our society.
We’ve seen more diversity than ever in the world of influential fashion magazines.
And this year, older women are (quite literally) back in vogue.
A reflection of 2023 at The Female Lead and what’s next for us
Here at The Female Lead, we have been working hard to make progress in our mission to support women and girls in 2023.
Firstly, we launched our community newsletter for you, our incredible readers. Thank you for signing up to support our mission. I hope you’re enjoying the rich content from our experts and influencers across our six lifestyle pillars – self, relationships, health, work, money and society. Our aim is to empower you with advice, stories and ideas to live a more fulfilled life.
Moving forwards, we’ll invite our paid subscribers to join key conversations and help steer our thinking. This is your chance to contribute and help shape our thinking and women’s empowerment agenda. You will also have a chance to ask our amazing range of ambassadors for their expert advice and shape the content we create for all women.
Secondly, this year we launched our schools ambassador community. Across the UK, we’ve been working with girls between the ages of 11-16 and asking them to share what’s important to them, and what they are struggling with as teens. Off the back of this, we create teaching resources and facilitate vibrant hubs as discussion groups in their own classrooms. Their valuable feedback shapes our ideas for us to guide future sessions. We are delighted to have such an amazing group of bright young women who care about leadership, feminism and female empowerment. Many of them will join us in future events including our forthcoming Inspiring Careers of the Future event in London and Manchester. Anyone can join our Schools Society programme so please do get in touch if your daughter, niece or friend wishes to work with us.
Alongside these amazing communities, we continue our mission to bring evidence to government and business about how they can close the gender gap. As part of this, we published our whitepaper ‘What Women Want: A New Perspective on the Economic Value of Women’ which is a summary of the research from our Fulfilment survey in which more than 140,000 of you took part. By understanding what women value, need and want in their lives and the challenges faced in finding a work-life balance, we can get real insight into what it means to be a woman today.
To amplify these findings & evidence, next year I am publishing my book ‘When She’s in the Room’, which is out at the beginning of March (although you can pre-order it now). Here I share everything I’ve found since starting The Female Lead, and I even share some of my own story for the very first time! The book talks about what a world where women are empowered looks like and to celebrate that it’s okay for women to embrace ambition and drive. It focuses less on what is wrong in our society today – there has already been a lot written about this – but more about how we can make the most of our talents, the progress we’ve achieved and how we can celebrate the power we hold. Women represent just over half the world’s population. We are not secondary characters. What if we were empowered to realise our potential in leadership and decision-making roles?
And finally, I was lucky enough to join the amazing Philippa Gregory for a podcast (No 4 in the series) to coincide with her new book ‘Normal Women: 900 Years of History’. Her book is an incredible and eye-opening set of facts – some jaw dropping – which sets out the context for challenges we face today and the weight of history and precedent that comes before. I thoroughly recommend it to you – although it might keep you busy for a few weeks! Maybe one for the Christmas list…
Thanks again for being on this journey with us and I look forward to working together more in 2024.
Founder of The Female Lead