May you be moved to believe in the power of reshaping lives: The Gender Equality Changemakers journey

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Author: Digital Frontiers Institute

2023 marked the beginning of an extraordinary chapter in my life, one that was both illuminating and restorative. The Gender Equality Change Maker Program facilitated a profound change in how I perceive leadership, gender roles and my area of influence.

Week One: The Moment of Truth

The foundations for gender equity laid out in the opening sessions resonated deeply with me, and I discerned an immediate connection to the programme’s core values. Discussing gender stereotypes, I confronted my own biases—a practice I once thought of as irrelevant.

I have been in a position of authority within a nonprofit organisation, overseeing the hiring process, where I had unwittingly embraced a pervasive but unspoken rule: that women, purportedly being better caretakers, were more suited for consistent roles in our organisation. This led to a disproportionate consideration of female applicants. The assumption that women naturally cope better with stress and men are resistant to female leadership was a stereotype I regrettably perpetuated through my actions.

Redefining My Role: Unlearn and Relearn

As a participant in the programme, I engaged in a transformative journey of re-education. The curriculum was meticulously assembled, each module being a stepping stone for personal and professional growth. My resolve to convert information into actionable knowledge was also a therapeutic endeavour; I integrated course insights with my therapy sessions for comprehensive emotional healing.

I recall a pivotal moment during a workshop when our subject expert posed a question—a simple inquiry that challenged me to reassess my entire operational strategy. This was the catalyst for my mission: to reverse my past oversights and initiate a training programme for nonprofits, aimed at fostering a balanced workplace.

Collaboration in Action

My experience reached a crescendo with the creation of a podcast. While I initially set aside the suggestion to leverage the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence as a capstone project, my desire to contribute something more enduring was compelling.

The podcast—ENYTinG Gender—emerged as my platform to disseminate knowledge and incite change. Launched on February 19, 2024, across various platforms, this podcast represents not only the culmination of my growth through the programme but also the beginning of a larger conversation that I hope will ripple through communities and across nations.

Looking Ahead

In line with my commitment to champion gender equality, I am actively seeking a like-minded co-trainer to amplify our efforts to reshape the nonprofit sector. Together, we can construct an environment conducive to diversity, inclusion, and equality.

To anyone reading this profound confession and my humble account of the change-making process, I extend an invitation to join in transforming not only organisations but also societal norms, one action at a time.

Statistics and Sources

It is worth noting that according to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability compared to their less diverse peers (McKinsey & Company, 2020). This underscores the importance of embracing gender equity, not just from a moral standpoint but also from a business perspective.

The journey through the Gender Equality Changemakers Programme has been nothing short of revelatory. Whilst this narrative encapsulates personal revelations and future endeavours, it is a testament to the transformative power of education and the indomitable spirit of change.

Closing Sentiments

As you absorb my narrative, may you be moved to believe in the power of reshaping lives, including your own, through education and unwavering dedication to equality. The Gender Equality Changemakers Programme was not just an experience; it was a catalyst—a beacon illuminating the path to a world of heightened empathy and action.

I invite you to join me on a similar path of discovery and action. Let us unite in transforming mindsets, industries, and societal structures for a better, more equitable world.

 

References:

McKinsey & Company. (2020). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Company.

 

By Sharmin Prince 

Founder and Executive Director at Eagles Empowered to Soar INC.

Trauma Healing Specialist at Prince Enterprise LLC

DFI Alumni and Community Member

 

Established in 2015, Digital Frontiers Institute is a proud brand of Digital Frontiers. Learn more about the Gender Equality Changemakers programme and find out how to enrol: https://genderequality.digitalfrontiersinstitute.org/