Meet Shenel, the Founder & Managing Director of The Ebonista Project, a Community Interest Company dedicated to providing emotional and practical support to women and children affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. As a grassroots organisation led by Black, female survivors, Ebonista welcomes all women but has a strong focus on reaching women of Black African and Caribbean heritage who may have struggled accessing mainstream services due to a lack of cultural understanding in our society. Shenel embarked on a transformative 3-day Feminist Leadership Training in the autumn of 2022.

Embracing Feminist Leadership

Shenel's journey into the Feminist Leadership Training program began with receiving our newsletter (You can subscribe too on our website). Intrigued by the prospect of enhancing her leadership skills, she found the training particularly appealing due to its feminist approach.

"The feminist approach into leadership made perfect sense for what I was doing," Shenel explains. Starting her organisation with a primary focus on supporting women, the training's promise of combining business management with a feminist lens perfectly aligned with her mission.

Diverse Perspectives, Shared Passion

The training exceeded Shenel's expectations, offering precisely what was outlined in the description and tailored perfectly to her needs. The diverse group dynamics further enriched her experience, exposing her to a variety of perspectives and shared passion for female empowerment.

"It was a good variety of people from different backgrounds and experiences. I really enjoyed the conversations and being in a room with people who have a similar passion for female empowerment, even if you don’t agree on everything," she reflects.

Practical Application in Real-Time

One of the highlights for Shenel was the practicality of the content. The topics, ranging from leadership qualities and team management to discussions around wellbeing, were immediately applicable to her work.

"I took away a lot of things that I could use in my work the next day; everything was really practical," she notes.

Leading with Balance and Boundaries

The training's emphasis on leadership qualities and team processes left a lasting impact on Shenel. Learning how to manage teams effectively and draw out their strengths became valuable tools she implemented in her organisation. The discussions around wellbeing resonated strongly with her leadership style, emphasising the importance of balance and she refers regularly to her notes for ongoing support.

"I lead emotionally, but I need to balance that... I still refer to my notes from the training, which supports me with the work/home balance," Shenel shares.

The concept of leading by example struck a chord, reminding Shenel of the importance of setting boundaries. Recognising the need to demonstrate the significance of self-protection, having boundaries, and prioritising supervision and self-care, she now strives to lead with these principles.

Nurturing Growth and Participation

Commending the facilitators' delivery of the program, Shenel appreciates the varied experiences they brought to the training, ensuring everyone had a chance to contribute. The distribution of slides and materials further added to the long-lasting impact, allowing participants to revisit and share the knowledge long after the training concludes.

While thoroughly satisfied with the training, Shenel suggests an opportunity for improvement—more sessions. The group's choice of the final session topic left her wishing for additional sessions to cover all suggested topics. This valuable feedback will contribute to refining future training opportunities.

Empowering Change

Shenel's transformative journey through the Feminist Leadership Training stands as a testament to the program's impact on leaders dedicated to making a positive change in their communities. As she continues her mission with renewed vigour, Shenel embodies the essence of empowered feminist leadership.

For more details about our Feminist Leadership Training Programme or to enquire about delivering Feminist Leadership Training inside corporate organisations, please email Inderjit Sahota [email protected].