International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place globally on Sunday 8 March and is an opportunity for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and the ongoing objective of achieving gender equality.
At Resonance we’re proud to work alongside so many inspiring individuals – both women and men – who are motivated to do social good, creating innovative and mission-driven solutions addressing social problems and challenges.
For this year’s IWD we posed this question to some of the women who work for or in collaboration with Resonance:
“Working at Snowball is my perfect job - at Snowball we are trying to change the way people think of investment from a purely financial lens to one that includes the social and environmental aspects of investment.
“I do this because I believe that we need to action today to change the future and sitting on the sidelines isn't an option. Working at Snowball I can support organisations that want to be part of that change through innovation, improving what they do and growing their positive impact. It is a great opportunity and I feel very fortunate.”
Abigail Rotheroe, Director Snowball
“I am inspired to do the work I do as every day I see the difference that Hollywell makes to the lives of those we work with. Our tenants all have learning disabilities and/or autism and I take great joy in watching a person who is unable to make eye contact, who is too anxious to engage well and has never managed a home before begin to thrive in their own home, going on to engage in hobbies and sometimes training or employment, making new friends and gaining the confidence to take part in their community.
“Our success stories are beautiful to see and make all the hard work worth it – it’s not easy, we work against a backdrop of significant social care cuts and this means that we are often fighting an already broken system, however I can honestly say that I have never woken up thinking that I don’t want to do it anymore – I’m very proud of the difference that we make to the lives of some of the most vulnerable in society and I feel privileged to be a part of their journey.”
Katie Sherjan, CEO Hollywell Housing Trust
“Thinking in new ways about old problems, to help better futures begin to happen.”
Anne Malindine, Director Raised in Bristol CIC
“My involvement with women’s services has been long term as the disadvantage women experience due to their gender are also long term.
“Organisations like Preston Road Women’s Centre are beacons of hope for women in communities who experience the effects of misogyny and sexism every day – violence against women and girls, constraints on their freedom of choice and reduced opportunities in relation to work.
“I want to use my time and skills to ensure that women’s centres and women’s voices continue to be heard because I have compassion for women and because I am incandescent with fury at the way, even in the 21st Century, women and girls continue to be persecuted. It’s not good enough and I’m doing something about it.”
Lisa Hilder, Trustee and Treasurer Preston Road Women’s Centre
“Inspiration comes from within. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.’’
Tracey Northcott, Finance Officer Resonance
“I work with children and young people to help them say the things they need to say, in a way that really connects with the people who need to hear it most.
“I’m mainly inspired by the young people themselves - young people who have lived through trauma and adverse circumstances are often the most generous, thoughtful, creatively brilliant and articulate people. For me as a creative, it’s how I do my best work - helping bring their stories and ideas to life through startling images and deeply insightful campaigns and adverts.
“More and more, I’m also inspired by my brilliant colleagues in the charity sector and private sector, who are looking for new ways to include children and value what they bring to civic society - together, we are creating new models for children’s involvement in making the world much better and kinder for people and animals.”
Ellie Malone, Creative Director & CEO Effervescent
“The potential I see in the communities of my local area (Birmingham and the Black Country) is what inspires me to do what I do. For as long as I can remember, I have been frustrated by the inequality, lack of opportunity and disadvantage that persists in an area that is home to people with so much potential, resilience and resourcefulness.
“I think that social enterprise is a brilliant way to harness this potential, and to use business and finance in a way that actually tackles the inequality and poverty that persists, rather than perpetuating it. The prospect of helping social enterprises grow so they can offer bigger and better opportunities in the West Midlands is something I find really exciting.
“So it is brilliant to be a small part of this through managing Resonance’s West Midlands Social Investment Fund, which invests into social enterprises tackling poverty and inequality across the region.”
Grace England, Investment Manager Resonance
“I am inspired by the women and children that Trevi is supporting across our three services here in Plymouth. Despite having experienced at times unimaginable violence and abuse, these remarkable women keep going and keep working hard to rebuild their lives.
“It takes exceptional courage to overcome some of the trauma that the women we work with have lived through; I am frequently humbled by their tenacity and strength.
“It is a sad truth that people are quick to judge women, especially mothers who have had difficulties with drugs or alcohol, however I am privileged to be reminded on a daily basis that with the right help and support, a recovery is possible.
“I live in the hope that one day we will, as a society, improve our response to vulnerable women. Instead of condemnation and victim blaming, we will reach out with compassion and meaningful support. The impact of this would be far reaching for generations to come.”
Hannah Shead, CEO Trevi House
“I’ve been in some dark places and I know that you can come out the other side, to the light. I want to help other women do that. I want to be able to give back some of the help that I’ve been given to help more women.”
Kay, an ex-resident of Trevi House
“I'm just grateful for the help I've received and want to keep turning my bad experiences into positives by helping other's fight against the stigma and trauma that we can carry.”
Helen, an ex-resident, and now Support Worker Trevi House
“Outside of Resonance, I am both inspired by and involved with two amazing organisations, Tir Coed and Grannell Community Energy (GCE). Being a Trustee at Tir Coed gives me a chance to offer my skills to a charity working at the frontline, delivering high quality training in a woodland environment to people who are out of work or disadvantaged in a very rural area. This is particularly important as there are fewer opportunities or support services than in towns and cities. And as Chair at GCE I support onshore wind power and community ownership with an amazing team of other volunteers. GCE has been female-led and run since inception, something of which I am particularly proud as the energy sector is not renowned for having women in leadership roles.”
Leila Sharland, Investment Manager Resonance
“I started my career in investment banking and, as I grew more interested in the causes dear to my heart, I moved roles to be able to use my financial expertise to help create a positive difference in our society. I feel lucky to be able to contribute to these causes, such as tackling homelessness and promoting gender equality, and to drive initiatives such as the Women in Safe Homes Fund.”
Karen Ng, Investment Director Big Society Capital
“I'm inspired by the vision to create a world where people living with dementia feel supported, connected and better able to live well with the condition. Seeing the difference that music makes to the lives of people living with dementia and their carers is just incredible, this inspires me to grow Musica and use our meaningful music services to benefit as many people living with dementia as possible.”
Rosanna Mead, Founder and Director Musica Music & Wellbeing CIC
“Working for Resonance as part of the marketing and communications team, I am privileged to be able to help tell the inspirational stories of social enterprises across the UK. I am inspired on a daily basis by the passion and creativeness of people to help enrich their communities or address a particular issue in society.
“My personal passion is about working with young people in Cornwall who face many challenges. Some are young carers, have a learning disability, mental health issue or other wellbeing problem such as obesity. Others face poverty and exclusion, and some may have behavioural issues or live with gender dysphoria. Many of these young people have never felt that sport was for them and they don’t feel they belong. So along with my husband we run a youth American football organization that uses the sport to provide fun, accessible sessions that offer opportunities to all young people to participate: Whether that is playing the sport, refereeing, coaching, helping with websites and social media, or simply assisting on the side-lines. Everyone can find something to do on the team and join in. It brings me so much joy when I hear the laughter and see the teamwork and companionship in action.”
Sharon Smallworth, Marketing & Communications Manager Resonance
“What inspires me is knowing that we can possibly make a difference in someone’s life and when vulnerable people allow me to share and hear their stories to enable me to find different ways to support them.”
Rebecca Morton, Street Impact Bristol, St Mungo's
“What inspires me is having the privilege to be part of someone’s life who often may feel let down or judged by society, empowering them to realise that they have the potential and strength to achieve anything they want to.”
Lisa Blackith, Street Impact Bristol, St Mungo's
“What inspires me is working with committed and creative people; who put the client at the centre of their support and value their individual strengths and aspirations; who use their expertise and influence to challenge the many barriers our clients face, to enable equal access to support and opportunities.”
Joni Lloyd, Street Impact Bristol, St Mungo's
The world of social impact investing and social enterprise is full of amazing, inspirational women who are striving to find, create and implement solutions to some of society’s biggest social problems including poverty, inequality or disadvantage.
As International Women’s Day states:
“Individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
“Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world. We can all choose to be #EachforEqual.”
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Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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