Feminism has been around for decades. Centuries actually, as the word ‘feminism’ first appeared in 1872 in France and the Netherlands. How has the discussion evolved since then? From the word being synonymous with man hating and growing out your armpit hair, to it seeping into mainstream culture with almost 5 million posts on Instagram using #feminism and young girls trotting around in ‘Feminist AF’ or ‘Women are the Future’ t-shirts. What does feminism actually mean today and more importantly: what doesn’t it mean?
Speakers from all walks of life will brave the stage to share their point of view on modern-day feminism and how diversity and equality can – and should – benefit companies. From shedding light on a male perspective to bringing ballroom techniques into the boardroom, expect nothing but inspirational stories, unexpected angles and some networking in between. It will be fun. We promise.
As women face discrimination and sexism, men are under enormous pressure to provide, to be tough and to not show emotions. We don’t realise that it’s often just as hard for men as for women to live up to societal expectations. Laura Visco, Creative Director at 72andSunny: Amsterdam will discuss how men are often left out of the gender discussion and how it’s imperative that we bring them back to the table, so archaic stereotypes can finally be smashed and men can be whatever they want to be too. Laura has developed iconic and progressive work such as AXE’s ‘Find Your Magic’ and “#isitokforguys” and is personally passionate about empowering all genders.
Annemarie Renes van Asselen
Thirteen years of management roles in companies including Google and Heineken left Annemarie Renes van Asselen feeling astonished by the presence of male energy on the work floor in both men and women. She decided to start her own personal development platform called Women Development Boutique, offering female professionals an inspiring and safe environment to grow and to reach their goals while staying true to their values. Annemarie believes the discussion should be less about men versus women and more about the balance of feminine and masculine energy in all human beings. According to her, that balance has implications for much more than just the work force; it affects society as a whole. Annemarie will discuss the challenges we face in becoming more aware of these forces in ourselves and how to use them in harmony.
One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to modern-day feminism is the transition from aspiration to action. Sinead Hewson, board member of the European Institute of Women’s Health, will try to find an answer by bringing her hands-on, practical mentality to the SheSays stage. She’s been a gender advocate for over twenty years. Despite making much progress, Sinead argues there’s still a lot to be done, with women and girls continuing to face gender inequality on a daily basis. She argues that in order to move from talk to action we need a compelling reason to want to change. We need to feel engaged. Sinead will shine a light on the role of rebranded feminism in achieving change and engaging the broader public.
For decennia, ballroom culture has been a safe haven for the LGBTQI+ community and people of colour in the United States. Participants compete in organised dance-offs, or balls, using Vogue performance techniques to take over the room. It’s considered a place where gender expression and overt femininity can exist without judgement. Amber Vineyard, a Californian-native, found her happy place on the ballroom runway, where fashion, art and dance collide. She thought it was time to introduce the Netherlands to this scene and founded her own House of Vineyard. She will make an appearance on the SheSays stage to discuss the crossover between ball culture and real-life and explore how to bring the ballroom into the boardroom. We’ll talk to her about what we can learn from ball culture, how to apply that to our daily lives and how this can empower women.