What does it mean to ‘choose to challenge’ in 2021?

blog - 2 min.

For International Women's Day 2021 - The Next Women along with The Humblebrag, combined forces to explore the theme “choose to challenge” by hosting a free and open masterclass and networking session to support and inspire more womxn leaders to raise their voice for change.

More than 50 women from all corners of the globe showed up – from Europe, The US, Africa, and Asia-Pacific – to hear the lessons from three global leaders, Tessa Wernink, Social Entrepreneur & Podcast Host, Daphne Laan, Co-Founder of The Board Whisperers and Precious Clark, Chief Executive, Maurea Consulting, who shared their experiences building a life and career of purpose.

We were able to learn about what it means to “choose to challenge” from an indigenous perspective, at the boardroom when you’re the only woman – and person of colour – and from our diverse participants too, including a champion for disability rights.

If you missed this session, but would like to watch the replay, we’re sharing it here without restriction for everyone to benefit. Watch here.

A few insights from our speakers:

“I stopped asking: who am I to voice my opinion and shifted this to – what does it cost me when I don’t dare to speak up?

“Shifting this perspective helped me step through the fear. I want to be a role-model to my children, but also to others who might not have a seat at the table. There is still a lack of representation of diverse views at a lot of places where key decisions are being made – and we need to change that.” – Daphne Laan

“For me, choosing to challenge, stems from a place of connection with my greater purpose. You have to be prepared to defend this from your core; you might be ridiculed for it, have awkward moments with your family, or even lose friends because of it.

“From a Maori indigenous perspective, when choosing to challenge, your “life essence” becomes really important as a place of intention behind being a ‘challenger voice.” I have legacy obligations to my ancestors and to my descendants that aren’t born yet; so I ask myself – how can I draw on the energy of both to propel me.” – Precious Clark

“We have this idea of what it means to be a leader – someone that rises up and ‘challenges’ everyone else, but being a ‘good leader’ is about empathy.

“Leadership is about understanding what everyone needs in that space, and making decisions based on that. I now ask myself, how can I make ‘the space’ big enough for other people to fit in, and how can I use my ‘other skills’ such as empathy to get other people at the table.’” – Tessa Wernink

Latest posts