What I got out of volunteering at Women’s Voices

Posted 23 January 2019

Nicky Higgs, Head of PR & Comms at IPG Mediabrands EMEA, tells us why she’d recommend volunteering at Media Trust’s Women’s Voices event to anyone.

At the beginning of 2018, everyone was predicting that it would be the “year of the woman”. The women’s movement in our country was stronger than ever, our political power was growing, powerful men were being held accountable for their actions and we were about to celebrate 100 years of women being given the right to vote in the UK. When International Women’s Day started to be on the media agenda, I think we all felt that it meant so much more this time around and I personally felt a little more empowered.

In the media and creative industry, there are definitely areas for improvement, but overall, I feel that we do have a fantastic supportive female network that is beginning to make a difference. I heard about the Women’s Voices event that Media Trust were organising and I thought what better way to celebrate International Women’s Day by getting involved and taking part. It would be great to be able to meet up with fellow females from across the media and creative sector again and to come together to support charities and community groups that campaign and advocate for women and girls, so I promptly signed up.

The event

Media Trust hosted Women’s Voices at Google’s Victoria office, which was a highlight for me, as Google’s offices are always so nice! We all had a chance to mingle, meet new people and heard an inspiring talk on Female Tribes from Megan Van Someren from JWT.

JWT's Megan Van Someren shares the findings from her work on Female Tribes to a packed room of charities and media and creative professionals.

JWT's Megan Van Someren shares the findings from her work on Female Tribes to a packed room of charities and media and creative professionals.

After being split into groups, I was part of the group that was partnered with the WEA – The Workers’ Educational Association, a charity dedicated to bringing high-quality, professional education opportunities for the most disadvantaged.

Thinking outside the box

The ladies who work at the WEA explained what the charity provides and their situation. Whilst listening to them, I have to admit I was brought back down to earth after realising that most of the issues the charity had were what we take for granted in our jobs every day. They help so many women across the UK and do it with unbelievably low budgets and things that we have so readily available in our agencies, such as SEO, fancy websites and dedicated social media experts, were merely a hope-to-have for them.

It was an incredibly inspiring few hours of creative brainstorming and networking, whilst providing a fantastic opportunity for me to volunteer my skills.

At first, us “media-ites” of the group struggled to think of ideas that didn’t involve money spending, but by working together, and thinking a bit outside the box, we ended up helping develop the charity’s skills, creating a solid plan for their communications and came up with ideas for their target audience.

The evening was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone. It was an incredibly inspiring few hours of creative brainstorming and networking, whilst providing a fantastic opportunity for me to volunteer my skills. We were able to help such a brilliant charity that needs to raise awareness, engage with, and drive action amongst disadvantaged women and girls. And, it was all done whilst meeting some incredible women from across the industry!

Find out more about volunteering at Women's Voices 2019

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