INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
March 8, 2020
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is Each for Equal. It is encouraging us all to help forge a gender equal world.
When I started Loudmouth 26 years ago with my friend Chris Cowan, we never needed to discuss ours or others’ roles within the company based on gender and never have since. We wanted everyone who worked with Loudmouth to feel supported and encouraged to do the best job they could.
We were clear from the beginning that we wanted to support ALL children and young people we worked with to learn how to be (and help each other to be) happy, healthy and safe. Speaking out about equality has always been a vital part of Loudmouth’s work.
I was interested to see what other members of Loudmouth thought – do we nurture gender equality within our company and in our work over two decades on?
I asked the Loudmouth staff and their responses made my heart sing with pride.
Forging equality in the workplace
“I joined the company a 17 year old young woman as their first ever apprentice! Throughout my time with the company they have created countless opportunities for me to develop professionally. 9 years later - I’m a Lead Actor Facilitator. My progression in the company has been based on my achievements and I believe that gender has neither hindered or influenced that.” Jodi Farmer, Lead Actor-Facilitator.
”I think Loudmouth nurtures a culture of equality for girls and women by not making the need for equality a conscious decision, but more an unconscious product of a cohesive and caring work atmosphere. In the workplace, someone's gender has no effect on the tasks they are assigned or the decisions that are made.” Alec White, Senior Actor-Facilitator
Forging equality in our work with children and young people
“We recognise that the language we use is a huge part of what shapes people's view and understanding of gender and strive to use language which is inclusive and empowering to girls and women.” Ellie Rushton, Senior Actor-Facilitator
“In our sessions, by having one female and one male actor-facilitator we are showing an equal and cohesive relationship. We are spreading a message of equality to the young people we are working with.” Matt Farmer, Actor-Facilitator Manager
“I think Loudmouth nurtures a culture of equality for girls and women by empowering them through the representation of strong-willed, funny and relatable characters portrayed on stage.” Aysha Sainsbury, Senior Actor Facilitator
“We provide opportunities for young people to discuss relationships and sex as a mixed gender group. This is such a great chance for young men and boys to gain perspectives on the feelings and opinions of young women and girls (and vice versa) about intimate subjects that might otherwise have been privately discussed within single gender friendships.” Ellie Rushton, Senior Actor-Facilitator
“At Loudmouth we always challenge victim blaming to create a safer space for women and girls to talk about their experiences.” Shanice Russell, Actor-Facilitator
“Loudmouth always challenges misogynistic opinions.” Caroline Bridges, Partnerships and Tour Manager
I believe that 26 years on from starting Loudmouth, we still live in a man’s world. We still have a long way to go before we can say we are even close to living in a gender equal world. Until then we at Loudmouth will keep striving to forge equality in our own workplace and in our work with children and young people.
I will leave the last word to my lovely colleague Ellie Rushton….
“At Loudmouth we are continuously aiming to grow and progress when it comes to gender and gender politics, both internally in the workplace and through the work we do with young people. As a woman, it is incredibly reassuring to see my male colleagues engage enthusiastically with the latest thoughts and ideas surrounding gender, and how this then informs the way we structure our theatre in education programmes.”
Written by Eleanor Vale, Director, Loudmouth Education & Training