The theme for this year’s IWD is #Embracingequity. For me, IWD 2023 will be important for driving discussions around equality, equity and inclusion and developing people’s understanding of the differences so that we can all work together for a better, brighter and fairer future. Women’s achievements should be celebrated every hour of each day, all-year-round and recognised by decision-makers… Not just on International Women’s Day!
My name is Bonny Chung and I am based in Bristol. Outside of my day job (as a Civil Servant), I am Vice Chair of the Bristol Women’s Voice Board of Trustees – Bristol Women’s Voice is a small charity whose objective is to women’s equality and rights become a reality in Bristol – so that all women feel safe, seen and heard in the city they live, work or study in.
I’ve always been hugely passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and much of the work I do outside of my day job revolves around promoting events, good news stories and organisations involved in equality and women’s rights, actively championing race and gender equality and reviewing the inclusivity of BWV’s policies to ultimately improve outcomes for all women.
As a woman of colour, with an unseen disability, I intersect across multiple protected characteristics, which aren’t always fully accepted by society or which society doesn’t always cater for. It was this realisation as well as some inspirational role models (Gemma Chan, AOC and Julia Gillard) which drove me to continue this D&I work.
- As Vice Chair of BWV, some of my achievements include:
- providing strategic direction to the Director in implementing a Trans Inclusion Policy as well as a Position Statement to make BWV as inclusive, open-to-growth and accessible as possible
- realigning BWV’s Mission and Terms of Reference to be more inclusive of what their members want
- engaging with Community Leaders such as the Mayor of Bristol and the Bristol Police Crime Commissioner
- and working to safeguard the charity’s finances so that BWV can plan ahead and make contingency plans without the worry of not having any money!
This valuable work will ensure BWV is able to plan ahead on a longer term basis and to fulfil its aims, which are:
to empower women in local communities. We strive to ensure the voices of women and girls in Bristol are heard by decision-makers so that actions are taken which make a real difference to women’s lives. We work closely with independent women’s groups and organisations in Bristol to support partnership working. Our organisation informs women about services that provide the support and advice they tell us they need. We help women set up their own support networks and we celebrate women’s success.
I’m really enjoying the Community Leadership programme and being able to meet so many like-minded individuals across the UK with similar values and challenges. One session which I found really rewarding was the ‘Group mentoring’ session where everyone provided details on a challenge they were working on and sought advice from everyone else in the group. This was such a valuable session as it showcased each person’s approach to the challenges and presented their tips and advice, which were all very diverse in content.