What a year of contradictions 2017 has been. A misogynistic, racist and homophobic President* was inaugurated on 20th January 2017 in the USA. But whatever your politics may be, nobody can deny that in 2017 Women’s rights have been top of the agenda – illustrated by over 5 million people who turned out globally for the Women’s March just one day after the Trump’s inauguration on January 21st. In fact, The New York Times reported that the Women’s March crowd was estimated to be three times the size of Trump’s inauguration.
‘Feminism’ was also named word of the year by the American dictionary Merriam-Webster, due to a 70% increase in online searches for the word in 2017, compared to 2016. There is hope for humanity yet!
Riding on the crest of that optimistic wave, here at LGG we’ve also had quite the year. So we’d like to share our top 10 best bits with you:
- Lunch with the legendary Dr Sue Black OBE. Yep that’s right, we took Sue Black for a healthy veggie lunch here in Liverpool! We compared notes on how to fund Women’s organisations (check out her #techmums initiative) and chatted about her forthcoming Coding book for Penguin. Definitely a highlight of the year for us.
- Growth! We got our first office and welcomed two new team members. Which also meant we smashed our goals for this year.
- Launching InnovateHer. This was a big step for us, as it marks the entering of a new phase. We’ll be promoting our teen programmes solely through this brand in 2018, taking our successful LGG Academy model into schools across the North West. We’re really happy with the brand we created with Uniform and our community – take a peek at our new website.
- 15-year-old LGG academy graduate Jess presenting at TEDx Whitehall Women! The best bit about running our programmes really is seeing our graduates grow and develop. We are proud of our graduate Jess; she also now wants to work in cyber security. Watch her Ted talk on ‘how to get more girls in tech’ here. Its mind-blowing!
- Working with new & existing partners. We couldn’t do it without them and have been happy to welcome more new members this year. We also continued to work with the Coop, FACT and Liverpool John Moores University to deliver our teen programmes. If you’d like to partner with us in 2018, find out more here. You’ll be in good company!
- Our ‘Be Bold For Change campaign for International Women’s Day. We produced a video for IWD 2017 which features some incredible northern women in tech. Over 3.5k people have viewed it on You Tube so far and it was shared a LOT! View it on YouTube and be inspired by their personal stories.
- Our Director being appointed to the DfE’s T level panel. Jo Morfee was appointed to the Department For Education’s data and digital panel to help shape and develop content for the new T Levels. More on that story here and watch this space for updates in 2018.
- Winning more awards! We won a digital leaders award for ‘digital skills & inclusion initiative of the year’. Co-Founder Chelsea Slater was also runner-up in the Great British ‘entrepreneur for good’ award and listed on the BIMA ‘Hot 100’. Thanks to everyone who voted for us and nominated us.
- Our new base in the Federation Building. Thanks to our partner the Coop, we have a place to call home in Manchester. Which is great as we’re there a lot these days (and we love the space!)
- Our community is still growing. We couldn’t do our work without you. It’s great to see even more of you supporting our important mission and helping to make a change. If you’d like to volunteer, mentor or support us in any way please get in touch.
Roll on 2018! Seeing as it’s the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote**, we think it will be a good one. We’re seeking to make an impact by reaching 10 schools through our InnovateHer programme and continuing to grow our Liverpool Girl Geeks membership and course offer. After all, in the words of our beloved Carrie Fisher (RIP):
What are your goals for 2018?
Written by Jo Morfee
*Can you describe Donald Trump in just one word? We struggled. Here’s a website to help you with that. And it provides some good belly laughs.
**It was actually 1928 that parliament declared full suffrage for women. In 1918 only Women of the age of 30 (who owned a house) could vote, representing only 40% of the total population of women at the time. However, it was a move towards equality so we’ll mark it in 2018. Just thought we’d let you all know that we DO know our herstory. Peace out.