We’re looking for just £2,800 to set up the WayfinderWoman website where aspirational women can find their inspiration - and here’s why. The problem
‘Women should not just try to fit into the economy, they should be shaping it’" according to the Women’s Business Council.
The UK’s untapped potential includes 2.4 million women who are not working and want to work and a further 1.3 million women who want to increase their hours. Equalising participation rates of men and women in the labour market, could increase UK economic growth by 0.5 percent a year, with potential gains of around 10% to GDP by 2030.
If women were setting up and running new businesses at the same rate as men, there could be one million more women entrepreneurs.
Companies with more women on their Boards outperform their rivals with a 42% higher return in sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity according to government research.
So what’s stopping women from progressing?
We all know that there are issues facing women in the workplace: there are still disciplines where men dominate and women have enormous difficulty even entering the profession, let alone build a career. In positions of authority and high-level decision making within the public sector women are still not fairly represented. Despite advances there remain too few women at Board level. The glass ceiling cracks too slowly and the glass escalator prevails.
Complex cultural and societal gender pressures continue to exert an influence on how women view themselves. As a result, even though there’s the ambition, all too often it’s women themselves who are the barriers to success: the sticky feet syndrome.
The internal conflict that can generate causes a build-up of stress and anxiety, reinforcing negative self-worth and hindering success.
Whilst women go to magazines, family and friends and sometimes their GP for advice and support, there’s no one website where young girls and women in the UK can gain peer support and encouragement from inspirational role models; where they can build an on-line community of empowerment.
A powerful website, WayfinderWoman.com,which reinforces the lessons learnt through an associated book, provides inspirational and motivational role models, encourages debate and enables further growth. This project is to get the website built and marketed to women so they can grow their own support community. To do this we need just £2,800.
The website will have 4 functions:
1. It will provide an on-line community for women to gain peer support. They will be able to share their experiences and, in a member only section, allow for confidential exchange of information.
2. There will be guest blogs by inspirational and motivational role models, mainly female, from all industries and sectors. These blogs will help girls, young and older women to gain confidence, take their lives in positive directions and build careers or businesses.
3. It will give links to valuable videos, TED talks, blogs, scientific papers, articles, supporting organisations; resources that will aid and support women in helping them find the solutions to the barriers they face. It will also provide the scientific background to the material found in the book.
4. Finally it will allow people to access the book WayfinderWoman: 52 routes to inner health (and self-confidence). Using tried and tested techniques, with a section per week, the book equips women to change their behaviours so they can have a more positive mind set and encourage them to find a better way of living life.
The long-term aim of the website is for it to become the go to site for women with ambition, of any age, whether that ambition be acknowledged or hidden; for it to be inclusive so that all women can use it knowing they will be valued and encouraged. It will be a powerful voice for them and create a forum that will be a lead influencer in policy decisions that affect women in work; be that entering the workplace, climbing the career ladder or running their own business.
The Project timetable
We want to start the project as we mean to go on by helping women to grow and so identifed a young start-up social enterprise company run by Helen McCabe who will construct and design the website. Helen is an advocate of female empowerment and has lottery funding to train other young women and unemployed youngsters in web design and digital marketing. We have already identified the individual who will work with her in building the website, Jane Frost who is seeking a new start in life so this will help in her new career. We have already protected the domain name.
We are busy identifying and cataloguing the material to back up the web content and working hard on raising the social media profile so we can launch WayfinderWoman.com with gusto by Christmas. Christian Pengelly, a young graduate and self-declared supporter of equality, is being particularly helpful in this.
The illustrations were designed by a highly talented 17 year old Joanna Faulks. I am so proud to be able to launch her career through this website.
We’re building a list of influential and inspirational women who have said they’ll be guest bloggers. Later on you can read what people are saying about the project.
What you are paying for
Your money (£2,800 total) will cover the cost of:
- Hosting, designing and developing the website
- Building the profile for the website launch
- Constructing and designing the supporting facebook page, and linking in with other social media tools such as pinterest, twitter and LinkedIn as these are the tools that women are using
- Promoting the website to the community
- Through the project, you are supporting the development of skills and capabilities of the young people involved so they can be ready to take up new opportunities when they arise.
Why this project and why support us?
Laura has been coaching and mentoring for 20 years and for the last four years has been an accredited Executive Coach with the Association for Coaching. Over that time she's seen women of all ages with enormous potential who are prevented from achieving success by their own insecurities and limiting beliefs. So she started WayfinderWoman, a programme specifically designed to help women deal with those insecurities and conflicts so they can be more successful in their careers. In addition she runs a monthly Wayfinder Club where working women can come together for an hour to gain mutual support and discuss issues specific to them, She's written the first in a series of WayfinderWoman books to help motivate and inspire.
With social media and on-line platforms becoming the communication and information media of choice there is an opportunity to do much, much more to help women in the workplace achieve their potential.
Please pledge so that we can develop the website and build the WayfinderWoman community. Every single pound counts. If we exceed our goal then that will help us develop the website to make it even more powerful and expand our ability to promote it to more women.
If you’ve got sisters pledge now
If you’ve got daughters pledge now
If you want to help women please, pledge now
We thought you might like to see the pledge t-shirt and another illustration
The t-shirt is sized as medium and we may be able to get other sizes subject to availability. If your pledge includes a t-shirt, when we've reached our target we'll check with you what size you would like.
We’ve told selected people about the website. Here’s what they have to say.
“I have known Laura for a number of years and she is an experienced and insightful Executive coach, who more recently has become a popular and well-read columnist in the business section of our newspaper and website.
It is clear to me that The WayfinderWoman website will provide an important forum for women of all ages to be inspired, valued and empowered to achieve success in business or their career.
I would urge you to pledge as much as you can to help Laura reach and even exceed the target, so that the website can become a powerful voice for women in the workplace throughout the UK. She has my absolute support, and I hope yours, too”.
Keith Ridley, Editor in Chief, Eastboune Herald and Gazette and Hastings Observer series
“I’m privileged to be asked to be the first guest blogger for this new and much needed website. For the first time there is an on-line platform where women can motivate and support each other, share the things that are helping them to build their confidence, carve out their careers or run their businesses. As the founder of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, I wish there was such a website when I started my business, now a multi-award winning Business Law Firm.
Laura is a highly skilled coach and passionate about helping women succeed. This website will enable women to continue the learning and motivation they have gained from Laura’s book WayfinderWoman: 52 routes to inner health. I would highly recommend that people get involved by agreeing to pledge, and pledge now.”
Penina Shepherd, Entrepreneur of the Year for the South 2012-2013 and Founder of ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, one of the top 50 innovative & ground-breaking Law Firm in the UK & Europe .
“I welcome this wonderful initiative. Having a website which allows women to come together in a mutually supportive way to help them achieve their ambitions is long-overdue. I hope you will be able to pledge something to help get this website up and running.”
Carolyn Heaps, ex-Mayor Eastbourne Borough Council
“Laura is well known in the area for the work that she does in supporting women. This website is a great idea and I’m looking forward to seeing it up and running.”
Christina Ewbank, Chief Executive EDEAL and Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce
“I don't do self-help books as a rule, but this one is a bit different - it has its feet in real life and is written by someone with insight and relevant experience. The ideas are easy to grasp but really set you thinking about your attitudes. I've certainly 'moved the ladder' and changed my angle of view since reading the book!”
Bryony Benier, freelancer