Assist Women’s Network is an organisation based in the Tees Valley which provides a network for professional women to connect, grow, trade, and support each other professionally.
Following the recent Reclaim the Streets movement, to help highlight street safety, Founder and Chair of Assist Network in Teesside Ann Stonehouse feels every women’s voice deserves to be heard.
With a recent YouGov study stating how 97% of young women have been sexually harassed within the UK, there has been an increased awareness of women’s safety and what can be done to make everyone feel safe.
“Society needs to now be ready to listen and realise what women and girls have always experienced as they walk down a street,” Ann told me, “this is now a turning point, and women need to ensure this conversation is never forced shut again.”
Ann also expressed the Reclaim the Streets movement is not about blaming men. “Women don’t want to push men out and take over the world, they want to contribute,” Ann says, “They want to innovate and design a world that can see things from a varied viewpoint, forming a fairer society that can only be of benefit to all in it.”
Assist Network is an organisation run by volunteers, who continually extend their team to allow women to gain work experience, build confidence and create networking opportunities in the North East.
The Assist Women’s Network believe that doors need to be opened to allow more women to take on leadership roles as they have the successful skill set and characteristics, with an equal playing field for all. Ann expressed “all genders should publicly speak out to change the narrative.”
The network envisions supporting and encourage women to achieve their full potential, through learning opportunities, networking meetings and stimulating ambition. “We are welcoming of all and completely inclusive regardless of individuals’ race, nationality, disabilities, sexual preferences, religion and beliefs,” Ann told me, “we look to have a real impact on the quality of life for women, families and communities.”
Moving forward, it is hoped that with supportive organisations like Assist, and through having open conversations about the safety of women, there will be a more active change in the treatment of women within workplaces and wider society. It is vital that we remain active in promoting change and creating a fairer society for all.
For further information and updates on Assist Women’s network, you can visit their website.
Photo credit – Assist Women’s Network
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