'Think of the impact one positive thought can have'


#WomenEd is 2 years, 3 months young. Our community lives the reality that gender influences, at best, and determines, at worst, how many educators become leaders 

The brilliant hashtag #Ididitanyway, curated by @WomanthologyUK, prompted me to reflect on the difference #WomenEd is making. I tweeted this as @WomenEd:

This had an amazing response in less than a day! 

So, what impact has #WomenEd had?

Clarity: We have a clear vision about what we want to achieve, underpinned by  our values and mission

To empower more women in education to have the choice to take their next leadership step. 

Communication:    @WomenEd reaches 12.8K followers on Twitter, quite remarkable in 2 years. We now have 17 UK and international accounts.

Through Twitter we engage with our community and share information and research as well as through Facebook and LinkedIn. 

So far, over 3000 aspiring and existing women leaders have connected through 50 regional events, 2 UK national and 3 international events (The Netherlands, Canada). Our 3rd unconference is September 30th with plans for 20+ regional events in 2017/18. These events are joyous as women find and use their own voice, realising that they can be what they see, they can negotiate their next pay rise, they can apply for their next leadership step.

Community #WomenEd is led by a Steering Group of 5 volunteers, each linked to regional teams.

60 regional leaders have been inducted in teams across the UK and US, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, with 2-12 regional leaders within each region offering support where women work and live.

Collaboration:  Remarkably, #WomenEd is composed entirely of volunteers giving freely of their collective time to make a difference for:

· individual women

· the organisations that employ them

· systemic issues to which we need to find solutions.

As a not-for-profit network we collaborate with other organisations who support our aims, eg: 

· Plan UK to whom we donated surplus income

· The Department for Education (DfE) in England which gives us a seat at the (policy) table. We were named in a White Paper, we’ve driven the DfE coaching initiative (link) and @WomenEdLondon members have written two case studies on Flexible Working.

· Microsoft and #WomenEd partner to develop resources to support more women as Digital Leaders.

· #WomenEd and Dauntless Daughters developed a virtual toolkit for schools

Confidence:   Countless tweets include our mantra of #10%braver, demonstrating how the #WomenEd community are being more bold. Listen to the increasingly confident voice of women through 560+ blogson @staffrm tagged under #womened.

Challenge:  Blogs @staffrm and elsewhere document how women are addressing the challenges they face as education leaders eg #genderpaygap, flexible working, unconscious bias. 

Change:  These achievements support our tangible impact: members securing new roles and promotions. We track this through adding #WomenEd and #impact to tweets: I'm writing about this to supplement the research done by @kayfuller‍  and @jillberry‍ 

Search for #WomenEd and #impact combined and enjoy the impact of our community. This is only the start!

Author Profile

Vivienne Porritt

Vivienne Porritt

Co-Founder & National leader @WomenEd I Chair of Governors | Working with schools on impact, professional learning & development, vision, strategy and leadership, especially women's leadership

24 stories


Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 2 weeks ago
Thanks, Hannah, hard to do justice to what our community has achieved in 500 words. I'm working on writing up the impact and this is a good start! Great opportunity to really reflect and think about our brilliant and amazing 2 years!
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
Amazing summary of what you've achieved. There are so many points in this blog that resonate with me and the impact #WomenEd has had on my life and career. You are all awesome x
Victoria  Cane Victoria Cane @victoriaannecane 2 weeks ago
It has made a real impact on me personally and professionally. Amazing, just amazing.
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 2 weeks ago
Thanks, @victoriaannecane - how has #WomenEd made an impact for you? If you tweet and include #WomenEd, I'll pick it up and track this. Love to compile such examples as they encourage other women to 'do it anyway'
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 2 weeks ago
Thanks @natw and you've written about this in previous blogs and contribute so much to @WomenEd. Which part of this blog particularly resonated for you?
Victoria  Cane Victoria Cane @victoriaannecane 2 weeks ago
We came to Oxford from Cardiff and were inspired. We've had a school meeting and we're going to have a South Wales meeting in September. I'm hoping we can organise a Wales WomenEd conference. I say the 10% Braver mantra every day.
Natalie Wilcox Natalie Wilcox @natw 2 weeks ago
@vivienne Definitely being part of something beyond my own school and region. Collaboration with so many wonderful women who have given me the confidence to go for things I might not have thought about. Being 10% braver in speaking at a regional event and opening up about my emotional journey. Then beginning to have an impact on others; talking about my own experiences with leaders who want to be mothers and mothers who want to be leaders. There's probably more!!!
Fiona McSorley Fiona McSorley @fifi 2 weeks ago
Super summary, Vivienne well done. Many congratulations to all the brave and committed ladies that have brought @WomenEd to fruition. You have had such a huge impact on so many and there is plenty if time and support to grow and spread the message further. Looking forward to it!
Katie Smith Katie Smith @mrskatesmith 2 weeks ago
This really brings it altogether! So proud to be part of #womened and am continuously inspired and empowered by the work xx
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 2 weeks ago
@jillberry Thanks for sharing the blog and the research by you and @kayfuller really supports the impact we have achieved. Looking forward to including excerpts from this in my session at ResearchEd in September. Anyone else there?
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 weeks ago
Won't make #ResearchEd I'm afraid, but hope your session goes brilliantly - I'm sure it will.
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 2 weeks ago
I like the idea of a blog series Hannah, It's the 'anyway' aspect of #Ididitanyway I like and was so resonant with early days of #WomenEd. Could take away from #10%braver which is related?
Jules Daulby Jules Daulby @jules 1 week ago
Ah this has given me goosebumps @vivienne -it's incredible what WomenEd has achieved and I've made lasting friendships with you, the steering group and wider @jillberry . So many inspirational people who have quite literally changed my life and my outlook. ❤️ Thank you for encouraging me to join.
Vivienne Porritt Vivienne Porritt @vivienne 1 week ago
We all get goosebumps, Jules, when we see what we have unleashed, just wonderful. You embody so much of what WomenEd stands for in terms of leading as a parent and your commitment to shifting gender stereotypes through #genderedcheese. We all make a great team.
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 1 week ago
I don't think I'm THAT wide, though, @jules.... :)
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