Meet Our New Director Patrycja

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Tell us a bit about your journey with The Young Women’s Movement. 

I have followed and admired the work of The Young Women’s Movement for a long time, so when the opportunity to join the Dream Team of volunteers arose in May 2017, I didn’t think twice! I started as a volunteer 30 under 30 editor in June, and I was given the most amazing opportunity to meet and interview 30 kickass girls and young womenthe best girl gang ever! Even though I also worked full-time on top of that, and I would often end up transcribing interviews until midnight, I wouldn’t change it for the world! There are so many amazing young women in Scotland and being able to share stories of some of them was such a privilege. I know that these are going to inspire girls and young women to do whatever they damn please, and I can’t wait to see this series grow from strength to strength in the coming years.

What are you most excited about and looking forward to as The Young Women’s Movement Director? 

So many things! As cheesy as this sounds, it is truly my dream job. I can’t wait to work even more closely with our current volunteers, and to recruit a new dream team. I couldn’t have done it all without my Dream Team, and without Kara, Jemma, and Tomiwa, and I grew so much as person because of their support. I’m not sure if I would have had the confidence to apply for an opportunity like this one if it wasn’t for this amazing network of  women around me, and I’m really looking forward to creating new networks for young women in Scotland. I’m excited about all the young women that I’m going to meet on this journey, and I can’t wait to learn from all of them.  I was so proud of the team when they launched Young Women Lead programme, and I’m looking forward to working with them on that. The research geek in me also can’t wait to get started on the next Status of Young Women in Scotland – it such a vital piece of research, and I want to see it even bigger next year! Finally, as a young Polish woman, I also feel strongly about addressing the topic of Brexit, and representing the views and concerns of other young migrant women. We need safe spaces for migrant women, especially in 2018 when key Brexit decisions are being made. I don’t want any young women to feel like they don’t belong in Scotland or that they can’t plan their futures here. I’m definitely here to stay!  

What one change would you like to see for young women by the end of 2018? 

I would like us to feel confident to take up space in any situation. We deserve the seat at the table, and as hard as it might sometimes be we need to find the courage speak up. I know so many brilliant women who suffered from impostor syndrome, and while it might be overly ambitious to completely eradicate it in one year, I want to see it significantly diminished. Next year is the Year of Young People 2018 in Scotland, and the focus is on making voices of young people heard and celebrated, and I want to see the voices of young women to come through strongly as part of that. Let’s be loud, let’s be bossy, let’s be ambitious. Let’s be everything we want to be.  

Patrycja is currently the Year of Young People 2018 Volunteer Officer at Young Scot, working with young people aged 8 to 26 from diverse backgrounds and with diverse identities, to make their views heard and acted upon. She has a background in academic research and her PhD explored how Viking-age and Medieval women challenged normative gender roles and identities. Tweet her @pmkupiec.


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