#WomenEd 2017: #10%braver

At our first #womened unconference, in London, October 2015 the fabulous Sue Cowley did our opening key note.

She unintentionally coined our mantra: #10%braver.

Why did this phrase resonate so much with our community?

We hear often that Confidence is an inhibitor for many women in education, holding them back from making the leap to leadership. Hence why it is one of our 8 Cs. (Captured below in our values graphic that Pen Mendonca captured for us).

new values

The inner glass ceiling is often as reinforced as the external one. We need to learn how to navigate and smash both!

The Confidence Gap is often exasperated once women become parents and gaps appear in their journeys. The pace of our system means it is hard to keep up which is why it is fab we are collaborating with MaternityCPD on supporting those parents on maternity leave who want to keep their hand in.

So, as a community,  we claimed the marginal gains model – we do not ask women to be 100% braver, just 10% and to lean in to the incremental growth in confidence.

Further to this we often invite our community to do shout outs for themselves and others to celebrate our achievements. We get quite frustrated at the trend we see – we are better at congratulating the impact of our peers rather than acknowledging and owning our own achievements.

One of our co-founders and national leaders,  Vivienne Porritt with womenedWM regional leader Kiran Satti thus coined the extension #10%prouder and I added #10%louder!

womened 2

So with all of the end of year reflections (see quick links below if you want to get involved) circulating on Twitter this festive season we invited our community to be #10%prouder and #10%louder and tell us their achievements and their impact that they are celebrating as we move into 2018. Check some of them out below!



#teacher5aday pledge 

Check out the 30 highlights of the diverse impact of our #10%braver mantra on the #womened community in 2017 – what I love is how each one embodies our community values and personify our 8Cs:

Andrea Williams-Jones: “I told my story at IWD LeadMeet; hosted a WomenEd birthday party; became a WomenEdSW regional leader; led a workshop at Unconference and I hope that I’ve lived my values and not laminated them!”

Anoara Mughal: “Became 10%braver 2017 by: completing my first term as an AHT, becoming regional lead for , speaking at 3 conferences (one with 150 educators!), blogging, writing blogs for & for , developing sec. school library by networking, setting up .”

Bukky Yusuf: “1/ by: *set up own consultancy *worked in schools in different parts of Lndn (right out of comfort zone) *said yes to as many opps as I could e.g. joined Teacher Tech Board *did podcasts via *gave Sci training in NI (& got on a plane!)”

Caro Fenice: “Nothing spectacular, challenges for me like speaking in public (and loving it) writing (something I have always told myself I am rubbish at, applying for things out of my comfort zone and feeling proud for trying, even if nothing came of it. Making plans for the 1st time ever”

Carol Campbell: “My top #10%braver moments (had to go to 4): 1. Co-founding 2. Co-authoring 2 books in top new releases 3. Speaking to largest audience so far, 3000+ 4. Engaging with Ontarians about improving student assessment”.

Ceri Stokes: “I was #10%braver and hosted my first safeguarding conference at my sch bringing local companies together including the local ballet sch, bus company, nursery’s, football teams, doctors and many more and had present so good”.

Christalla Jamil: “Successfully supported another school – training for executive headship because of you! Excited about growing my staff and doing what’s right for my whole community”

Clare Erasmus: “10% braver became regional leader for , signed a book deal with , speaking at DiversityED, Southern rocks and wrote strong blog campaigning against bullying in the workplace”.

Elizabeth Wright: “ and I decided to be brave (very much a character strength) and asked if we could write a character education book for them – and they said yes!!!”

Emily Rankin: “Became a mom through adoption and had my 1st year as DHT! Spoke at global conference, organized unconference, & am new regional lead for . Working on my speaking skills and hoping to help other women (and my daughter) be #10%braver. Love !”

Fiona McSorley: “Lots braver this year. from teaching, volunteering as a trustee and supporting the next generation of . All with the support of and . Note to self for next year, write more!”

Gill Kelly: “Started a business . Became HT of a state boarding school (new to me), got a book deal (leadership from the edge…non euro centric/ corporate/ male stereotypes), expanded international business. A thrilling thing is being coached by – spoke my truth.”

Hannah Gregory: “ #10%braver – 1. ran a workshop at following dipping toe into blogging and actually enjoyed it 2. Suggesting we change #10%braver to so it links and becomes searchable”

Heather Greatbatch: “Moved to a new school after 9 years Led my own department for the first time Took on first SLT role Came to first event Got my first tattoo”

Helen Shapter: “Brave enough to say yes to first leadership role. Loving it. I don’t need to be 100% convinced I can do it before doing it.”

Jennifer Hawkins: “I got my theory book with teacher research stories published by a big publisher worldwide after being turned down by another because they thought teachers wouldn’t understand it! I proved a new psychological academic theory of learning & am now writing another book!”

Inspiring Teachers: “Became 10%braver by competing my first term as AHT, attending my first teachmeet, continually giving a voice to students on the periphery”.

Karen Wespieser: “Only woman on panel , opinion piece in , started , confronted on grammar schools”.

Katy Brown: ” Christmas Eve reflection on my 2017 #10%braver. Presenting my work on narrowing the gap at the British library, stepping out of my school and into consultancy with partner schools, and signing up to run a workshop for in March. 2018 will be my year!”

Kellie Davies: “Said goodbye to negative and its opened doors to positive…. bring on 2018.”

Lena Carter: “My #10% braver has been staying instead of running away, showing my true self, making my voice heard and being honest. None of which would have been possible without the support of my tribe”.

Lesley Munro: “Moved to a new school after 12 years. First SLT role. Offered venue for for next March and will be speaking there”.

Louise Lindley: “Bit late to the party but in 2017 I: Delivered whole school training Became Head of English Really delved into edutwitter and overhauled my teaching”.

Lyndsay Bawden: “Applied for and got my first SLT job, and a new job with an exam board as a subject expert. 12 months ago I wouldn’t have considered either role, let alone applied. Very much inspired by all the great people on Twitter – thank you!”

Mary Bridget Burns: “I am soon to be sworn in as a county-level commissioner for a Regional Commission on the Status of Women. My participation in certainly encouraged me to apply to the !”

Michelle Forrest: “1. I put myself out there and wrote my first blog. 2. Stopped trying to appear strong and in control and admitted I needed (and asked for) advice and help from the team a lot more. 3. Put children and their individual needs ahead of their potential to meet ‘Expected’”.

Nat Wilcox: “Spoke at the and became a regional leader for Took on a new role as DP and am loving leading on T&L.”

Nicola Sass Jones: “Built on success of a small scale local pilot project & applied for substantial funding in round 1. Now training over 20 SLES from 4 TSAs to support over 60 schools across the South West”.

Sam at Schoolwell: “Accepted invite from to be on panel at , presented at , reviewed books for and , collaborated with and met so many inspirational people! Quite a year for me”.

Susan Strachan: “I have written 100 blogs, presented at on building girls’ confidence, presented at & recorded my first eeekk youtube video. has encouraged & supported a wonderful bunch”.

Victoria Hall: “Moved to a post allowing me to get back to happy, presented at leadmeet about my journey, moved home to Sheffield and developed a strong edu-network back here. The new year will bring new challenge, a house move and maybe new post. Here is to

Thank you all for sharing your impact in 2017 and keep those tweets coming #womened #10%braver

Silhouette of a happy girl dancing in celebration of the New Year 2017 at sunset. If you needed convincing to connect with the #womened tribe, or needed a nudge to attend one of our #womened events, or needed some evidence to convince someone else why they should come – hopefully these testimonials will share the love and the magic of this community of phenomenal women in education!

Hannah, The Hopeful Headteacher

Currently feeling hopeful about:

  • The impact we will make in our 4th year!

Currently reading and thinking about:

Currently feeling grateful for:

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