The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Igniting Inspiration: The Power of Connection


  • Picture of Anj Handa FRSA
    Anj Handa FRSA
    NED, lobbyist, speaker. I help women leaders evolve as changemakers to drive transformational change
  • Communities
  • Gender
  • Fellowship

"The Inspiring Women Changemakers movement allows us to celebrate individual success. But more importantly it provides a deep well of experience and capability, supporting women to aim high and with purpose"

It’s been a year since I wrote a blog for the RSA entitled ‘Why Women Changemakers Need to be Recognised’. The themes I covered in there still stand, not least, The Modesty Effect, where a research study showed that female subjects made more modest attributions in public than in private conditions. In other words, women seem to be more reluctant to set themselves up for a potential fall than men.

Despite this being our second year of Igniting Inspiration, it was just as difficult to encourage many women to feature in our campaign to showcase making positive social change, despite extending its reach from Yorkshire to the whole of the North. They don’t want to be seen to brag, when what we are doing is asking them to share their accomplishments – and the learning that went along with it.

And yet, of the sixty or so women who did step up and agreed to share their stories, some have spoken at local, regional and national events, set up their Governance structures or benefited from the PR that I have facilitated with the national press such as The Voice and The Huffington Post.

Others have found mentors and supporters of their mission from within the Inspiring Changemakers network and even traded with each other. And there’s more to come.

There is no benefit to society by women keeping themselves small. I get it: only recently, I had to get over my own raging imposter syndrome (which only pops up occasionally these days) when I was selected as one of Grant Thornton UK’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy. I overcame my inner critic by reminding myself of the opportunities it presents – not just to me but to my members, as a result of the doors it will open.

It’s this power of connection that so many of us value, particularly when world events are far from positive. The powerful stories that we share through Igniting Inspiration are transformative. They inspire others to get involved or ignite a spark that may eventually lead them to leading change themselves.

Our judges agree. Drawn from the RSA network, Fellows Jane Eckford, Nickala Torkington and Dr Dee Gray saw the value of Igniting Inspiration and gave up their time to undertake the difficult task of selecting the winners in this year’s awards.

Jane, a Non-Executive Director and former Local Authority Director says:

My career and life journey have involved innovation, problem-solving and change, setbacks and successes. I have been indebted to friends and family and mentors. It is that trusted network who have given me a wider perspective and routes through opportunity, set-back and challenge. My life mentors have come from surprising places and at surprising times. The power of those connections is undeniable.

The Inspiring Women Changemakers movement allows us to celebrate individual success. But more importantly it provides a deep well of experience and capability, supporting women to aim high and with purpose. I am delighted to have been asked by Anj to join the judging panel for this year’s awards.

Join in! We are proud to partner with the RSA and welcome Fellows’ input into our work.

You can learn more about Inspiring Women Changemakers via our website.

Nominations have closed but a small number of tickets for the Igniting Inspiration Awards on 29th November are still available via Eventbrite.

Be the first to write a comment


Please login to post a comment or reply

Don't have an account? Click here to register.