On the 6th of February, the Berkeley Square IT ladies attended the TEDxLondonWomen online event. Below is their experience at the event:

Ashleigh Roberts:

I had a really good time overall virtually attending TEDxLondonWomen. I loved that all the BSQIT ladies had the option to attend and that we had a little group chat going throughout so we could be together apart.

The talks which spoke to me the most were

-Bethany Rose (Spoken word poet and illustrator) – Bethany performed a spoken word poem about depression which pushed back on the things people are often told whilst suffering (like “be more positive” or “try to get some exercise”) and how (and why) these things are generally unhelpful. She did it in a very relatable and entertaining way which I think helped the message really sink in.

-Sangeetha Iengar (Human rights barrister) – Sangeetha showed us the lengths people have gone to in order to make us associate immigration with negativity and put us in the right frame of mind to allow immigrants to be blamed for any problem which befalls our country (and therefore NOT place blame at the feet of those who deserve it). She explained why we should be worried when we see rights being stripped from certain groups and that it’s important for us to regularly remind each other than immigrants rights are human rights.

-Sophie Williams (Anti-racism advocate, activist and author) – Sophie highlighted that getting women into senior positions isn’t job done, but that keeping them there and giving them the tools and time that they need to succeed once there is just as hard and perhaps more important (really can’t wait to be able to share her talk when it’s released over the coming months as it’s a real eye-opener and one which needs to be seen by everyone, both men and women alike)

The talk which inspired me to make a change in my work life was Ebinehita Iyere’s, which led on from a podcast I’d listened to earlier that week (The Receipts Podcast Ep.113 “Say My Name”). Both explained that by changing your name so as not to inconvenience others, you essentially change yourself and minimise your history and your voice. Luckily I’ve never been the kind of person to ask someone “can I just call you …” because it’s easier for me to say, but I’m aware that there’s probably been many times where my first attempt has been incorrect but the person I’ve been speaking to has been too polite to correct me. So now when I’m not sure of the pronunciation of a name I’ve only seen written, I ask the person if I’ve gotten it right or what the correct way to pronounce their name is rather than just guessing.

Nyasha Rubwe

I really enjoyed attending the TEDxLondonWomen event. The speeches were very inspiring. I connected with Ebinehita Iyere’s “When will you see Black girls?” speech the most because I could really relate and identify with everything she was speaking on. Her speech reminded me of the quote by Malcolm X: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” This still resonates today and something that is applicable globally. Ebinehita speaks about the stereotypes and the invisibility of black women in society, and the erasure of black girls’ childhood.

As a black woman, I was really empowered by her speech to keep being myself unapologetically and “reclaim my inner black girl” It was also an important reminder that just because society may not see the value and the worth of black women doesn’t mean that I am less than/not worthy.

Memorable quote: “When you live in a world that acts like it doesn’t see you, you slowly start to believe that you’re invisible, that you don’t matter. When in reality you are everything and more”

Izzy Johnstone

I really enjoyed Claire Malone’s talk about embracing other people’s ideas. It’s quite easy to take away from that and put it into your personal life. A lot of people can be so set in their ways and thoughts, that they might be surprised or learn something new if they just embrace new ways of thinking, or even openly listen to other thoughts (which they might not totally agree with, but see something in it).

Clover Hogan – what I took away from this, is that there is a tendency to get overwhelmed by a problem and feel like it’s so much bigger than you are, which leads you to feel like you cant make an impact or feel powerless. .so you just stop. She spoke about small things you can do to tackle climate change, but what I liked about the talk, is that you can take that method into other aspects of your life, whatever problem or even goal you have, instead of just focusing on the end product, tell yourself “what small changes can I do to contribute to the end goal/problem”. That way you won’t get overwhelmed and pass off the responsibility or motivation.

You can find all the speeches from the event here

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