The Women's Leadership for Social Change programme was the pilot of WRC's women's/feminist leadership projects. It was launched in 2018 and funded by the Women's Vote Centenary Fund. 

The programme was delivered in six locations across England (Cambridge, Plymouth, Hull, Bournemouth, Oldham and Birmingham) and a total of 75 women participated. It included two intensive days on leadership covering topics such as power, feminism, intersectionality, organisational cultures and structures, empowerment, self-care and emotional intelligence. The programme also included a social action project element in which each group created a project on a social cause of their choosing. The programme culminated in a Showcase Event in the House of Lords in March 2019 where the participants had the opportunity to do a short presentation on their experience of the programme

“This training has made me aware that I am capable of being a leader. It has also given me more skills to become a confident speaker. It has allowed me to reflect on my personal life and how I must make more time for self-care. My community are very proud of my achievements during this programme.”

The Social Action Projects

Voices (un)heard, Stories (un)told 

The Plymouth group created a booklet with stories of each woman in the programme. 100 copies of this booklet were printed and handed out at the Showcase event. It contains stories of the women involved in the project. “In an age of silencing and social division, the aim of our campaign is to have our voices heard and show that despite our differences, we have a shared humanity” (extract from booklet)

Women Together

This event was put on by the Oldham group at Oldham’s Library: “The event was a huge a success, we had a total of fourteen women attend from varying ages and different backgrounds. We found that 100% of participants felt comfortable being themselves at this event which indicates that there was a great sense of belonging at the event” (from the Oldham’s group’s House of Lords presentation)

Let’s talk about…

The Cambridge group created a blog that was posted on WRC’s website. The blog contains one story about period poverty and one interview with a participant affected by the hostile environment. The blog can be read here.

Sharing stories: Empowering the Sisterhood

The Birmingham group also created an online blog which was later turned into a booklet and distributed at the House of Lords. As of 11 March, the blog had reached 1400 people and been visited by 436 people from 7 countries. The blog can be read here.

Have you got the picture yet

The Hull group created a film about body image and self-worth which at the time of writing has over 4000 views. The video can be viewed here. An article about the group and project was published in ‘Hull is This’ on International Women’s Day:

Empower Her

The Bournemouth group had a stall at an event for 400 girls with activities and resources: mindfulness chocolate eating, choose-your-story booklet, business cards with messages about healthy relationships, and a message board where the girls wrote empowering messages to other girls/women. A large amount of teachers were present at this event and requested more of the material to be able to distribute to their students.

"The impact of this training on me personally has been huge actually. I have found so much more confidence in my abilities to manage projects and create something. I have increased confidence in public speaking also, and feel incredibly empowered to have my voice heard. These skills and increased confidence will also enhance my professional life and job role. In the community I hope that the booklet will encourage people to reflect on their own journeys and in doing so, to appreciate their experiences and how far they have come in life. I hope it will encourage people to have their voices heard and to recognize there are so many common threads in what we all experience"

Thank you to all the incredible women who took part of this programme!

We are thankful for the Women's Vote Centenary Fund for funding this groundbreaking project. 

If you want to learn more about this project, please read our full evaluation report.

If you're interested in this programme and want to know more about what we offer, please check our programme page.

Evaluation Report

Feminist Leadership