#BalanceForBetter: International Women’s Day

BY Muinat AbdulMarch 8, 2019

Today is International Women’s Day and this year’s mantra is #BalanceForBetter. Whether you’re a female founder, supporter or future founder, women especially tend to balance mountains and make them look like molehills. I mean, I’m pretty sure most of us could switch careers and join the circus, we’re already pro-jugglers.

But I digress.

This year’s focus is on building a gender-balanced world, starting with grassroots activism and leading all the way to global government.

Here at Huckletree, we’re proud to have a female founder (shoutout, Gaby!) and 56% female workforce. So, how are we contributing to #BalanceForBetter? Via our in-house accelerator. We’re currently on the hunt for founders to join our pre-seed programme in London and Dublin – hello Alpha6!

What makes it different? Well, this cohort, we especially want to nurture talent from underrepresented founders: female, BAME, LGBTQx and beyond. Applications close on March 18th – apply HERE.

GIRLS ON FILM

Across our communities, we’ve hosted a series of cracking International Women’s Day events this week, focusing on inspirational women.

On Tuesday evening, Huckletree West hosted a free screening of The Judge in partnership with members Together Films. A moving documentary, it charts the difficult journey of Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first female judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic Law) courts.

Post-screening (complimented by treats from Fact Drinks, and Propercorn), we hosted a lively panel discussion with our audience. Compèred by Together Films Campaign Director Rebecca Ashdown, she was joined by Sarah Welsh, member and co-founder of HANX and Humanitarian Activist, Ladan Takow.

Three women on a sofa talking

Our event attendees and panel were hugely inspired by the themes in The Judge and waxed lyrical about female empowerment, misogyny in the workplace and the struggle for basic human rights. The film particularly touched panel member Ladan:

“The Judge was captivating, empowering and uplifting, especially seeing a Palestinian woman in that light. It was so refreshing coming from the perspective of a woman of colour.”

Composite of people at a film screening

The discussion led onto female role models, an important factor in HANX’s success story as female founder Sarah emphasised:

“I think it’s important to have role models. In business, we have some great mentors who encouraged us. One of our advisors is in the same industry and always pushes us to keep going. And my co-founder, Farah Kabir – she’s a super strong woman.”

Ladan is not just a Humanitarian Activist, she is also a strong Muslim woman, and she’s always had a positive female influence in her life: “My Mum – she’s very pro women, and  it was extremely hard for her to come to this country and start again.”

“Her upbringing was different to mine, but she raised me with a liberal way of thinking and instilled equality in myself and my brother. She’s always said that I can be a leader, and it definitely had that essence of a self fulfilling prophecy. Here I am.”

The Judge showcases one woman’s battle to be allowed to simply do her job and do it well. It’s something that resonates with many women across the world – and it’s something we can all help change.

We caught up with Huckletree members across our community to find out how they’re working to increase balance in their business, boardrooms and beyond.

WATCH WOMEN RISE

Sarah Hudson, Marketing & Partnerships Manager, Equiem

Female Founder, Sarah Hudson, Blonde woman smiling on a plain background

“This year, I strive to speak on more property industry event panels, as whenever I attend an event, the gender balance is astounding. The ‘typical’ property senior role often represents older males, dominating the gender balance of panels. There is a rise of remarkable, intelligent women in senior roles, however, they appear to be less apparent in these contexts. Time to strive for balance!”

Sarah Welsh and Farah Kabir, Co-Founders, HANX

Female Founder: Sarah and Farah from HANX

“Here at HANX, our mission is to level the playing field for women in the sexual wellness space, both at home and socially. Being female founders, we want to empower women to own their sexuality and have conversations about sex and relationships freely and on their terms.”

Francesca Boccolini, Co-founder & COO, SonicJobs

Female Founder - Francesca Boccolini, SonicJobs

“Our #BalanceForBetter challenge this year will be about increasing heterogeneity within our team, encouraging new ways of thinking, problem solving and creativity when coming up with new ideas and overcoming challenges. We’re working hard to increase diversity in our tech team where we’re looking to hire more women, but not only.”

“As our virtual recruitment solution – SonicJobs – uses AI to help employers get more data and gain a better understanding of candidates, to overcome cognitive bias and recruit the right people for their business, diversity for us is even more important.”

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If you know a female founder who’s ready to supercharge her startup, we have the accelerator programme just for you: Alpha6!

How do you intend to #BalanceForBetter this year?

Me personally? I’m working on my jam to cream ratio on scones.

AUTHOR

Muinat Abdul

Content and Social Media Manager