Young Women Lead 2017 Launch

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Last Friday we officially launched our new leadership programme, Young Women Lead! You’ve probably seen us on social media talking a lot about it, and are wondering what on earth it is… Well, in response to our Status of Young Women in Scotland 2015 & 2016 reports we invited up to 50 young women to co-design a leadership and policy programme with us, funded by the Scottish Government. Over 40 self-identifying young women, aged 15-30, joined us on the 24th to spend a day on programme design.

This year of Young Women Lead is a pilot and will focus on recreating the Scottish Parliament committee system. The goal of the day was to create a space for participants to meet each other and tell us, and the Scottish Parliament, what they wanted from a leadership programme.

This is a programme designed by and for young women with participants playing a key role in deciding what exactly these mock committees will look like. In groups, participants answered questions about how they would like to see the Young Women Lead programme unfold over the year and what they hoped to achieve at the end of it. There was an emphasis on both personal and political goals e.g. becoming more confident at public speaking and influencing legislation. They were offered a menu of three possible mock committee options and voted to create their own Dream Committee, so even though it will share elements with the current official committees, nothing like this has ever been done before.

The highlight of the day was seeing a group of young women take up space in the Scottish parliament, and being part of the first meeting of what is going to become an informed network of young women in Scotland.

Each participant will take over our Instagram and Twitter accounts as part of the programme, so tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hear from young women on feminism, politics and much more.

Elena kicked off this Thursday and we can’t recommend her takeover enough! You can catch her full story here (content note: discussion of rape and gender based violence). Follow @youngwomenscot (and our shiny new account created just for this project @scotwomenrise) for updates on Young Women Lead and you can see photos from the day here.

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