Last week we held an event (in conjunction with Glasgow School of Art & Tate Britain sub-group) run by an all female committee which focused on female networks in the creative industries and the strength which can be generated when we band together as researchers. Doing a PhD can be a very lonely experience and sometimes it does feel as if the real world is in a galaxy far-far-away.
The event aimed to stimulate academic debate but something more important came out of the day – we as female researchers, need one another. It’s that simple. There is nothing quite like having strong women behind you to listen to your worries (academic or not), using each other as sounding boards for ideas, giving each other encouragement or that extra little bit of confidence which is often just what an individual needs to go on to achieve great things. We, as a community, are helping to foster and support the next generation of feminists.
The event focused on ‘Female Networks’ in the creative industries and the attendees came from various backgrounds including Music, History, Conservation, Scottish Literature and Media Studies. We aimed to create a fun, informal and exciting atmosphere to put the group at easy and stimulate discussion.
We had academic speed-dating to allow the attendees to get to know each other on a one-to-one basis, a brilliant walking tour by Glasgow Women’s Library around the Garnethill area, hands-on- archival visit, a keynote lecture from Dr. Elizabeth Cumming and a meet-&-make event with wine and nibbles.
So, what did we learn from the day?
- We are all working towards the same goal – to promote women’s contribution in history and in our daily lives.
- We work better when we communicate – We can learn so much just by talking to each other. Sometimes BIG problems shrink after speaking to someone who is in the same position.
- A caring or supportive word goes a long way.
- We can’t do it alone – Create your own networks, even if it is just meeting over a pint once a month, or over brunch. Also, talk to people who you would not normally mingle with – you’ll be surprised what can come out of it.
- Listen to people who have already been through the PhD process before you as they can give advice and warn you of unexpected pitfalls.
On this note of sharing, caring and collaboration we are now looking for contributors for our blog. If you’d like to write a blog post on your research, to submit a review or record a podcast please email us with your idea at Thehistorygirlsscotland@gmail.com
We are also hoping to continue with our Female Networks events, be it one night every second month to meet and chat over a drink. All future dates will be posted on our social media accounts and on here.