Speaking truth to power

By Emirah • 16 July 2019

Emirah shares how she came to be an Advisory Panel Member and explains how being involved has shaped her confidence in speaking and voicing her beliefs.

I heard about Young Women’s Trust when applying for jobs through my work agency, I applied for an administrative role with Young Women’s Trust, but never hearing of it before, I did some research to find out what this charity was all about. After arriving at the interview, the interviewers explained the heart of the charity, and I completely connected with it.

After failing to get the role of Administrative Assistant, I still had an interest in being a part of the actual charity. I have a passion for young people my age and helping them see life through a positive lens, and that’s one of the main reasons why I applied to join the Advisory Panel. I wanted to be a voice for the women I know in my life. I also wanted to increase my network as well as venture into new opportunities.

Being an Advisory Panel member has shaped my confidence in speaking and voicing my beliefs, especially with the opportunities that we attain from being involved. The skills taught to us such as public speaking are being put into action, and that’s what I love about the charity, it teaches us life skills and allows us to apply it to real life situations.

The Bright Blue conference was an afternoon of talks run by a Liberal Conservative think tank called Bright Blue. I didn’t necessarily have an expectation of the event before going, I was really open minded bearing in mind that I haven’t been to a conference like this before. I honestly wanted to hear the matters that they were going to discuss and see if I may have some answers or questions that could inspire some new ideas on possible solutions for their research.

It’s theme was on ‘Fixing the Future’, ranging in topics such as thinking, learning, earning, and a few others which comprised of matters such as mental health, housing, school fees and more. I wanted to come and voice my opinion and I did, there was a part in the discussion where I believed the speakers didn’t touch on a vital part as to why young people may be suffering from mental health, and I heard nothing touching on mentorship/leadership, I believe that’s looked down on, which is why it wasn’t mentioned and that was my opportunity to speak.

We had the opportunity to sit with MPs, which was the closest I’ve been to being able to directly voice my beliefs to someone who has access to power, and I am honoured to have experienced this event. I learned to voice my beliefs, as you never know the positive effect it could have on people who have the ability to change that subject. I learned to believe in what I was actually voicing and to be confident and bold with it.

Other women should get involved with Young Women’s Trust due to the simple fact that opportunities that seem impossible to find, you will find here, people you thought you won’t meet, you have access to meet them here, and you also meet peers and people similar to yourself, it causes you to be open minded and to know that there’s more to life that what we have been exposed to.

The Young Women’s Advisory Panel is a group of 30 women aged 18 to 30 from across England and Wales. The panel gives power to young women. They are at the center of Young Women’s Trust: leading, designing and participating.

Find out more about the Advisory Panel