I joined ChooksSA a year ago- and for several months, I sat, observing new members being added to ChooksSA every week. Older members posting jobs, opportunities for training and even giving out their tickets to once-in-a- lifetime events for free. I also noticed the raw emotions in some of these posts- help me, I am struggling. Words which take courage to use, but which, in this group, seemed like ‘everyday words’. After those posts, there was, and is, usually a tide of responses with ‘DM’ or ‘here’s my mobile number’ or ‘here’s so and so’s contact, they are waiting for you to call’. I sat in awe, witnessing the live and true display of the supportive tribe in action.
Now, I say I had been observing, because for a long time I was a bit shy and reluctant to join in the conversations. I would have those debates in my head about what my opinions would really mean- would it be understood? Would it be received well? But then my imposter syndrome went for a little holiday (encouraged in huge part because of the supportive nature of this group), I decided to participate in the group. First it was just comments to other’s posts, then sharing events, training and opportunities that I come across in my professional life. Then she offered me the opportunity to step into a more active role. If you are reading this and you do not know Moira Were AM (yes!), the founder of ChooksSA, let me make a miserable attempt at introducing you to her. She is home. She is mother. She is fierce and passionate. She is friend. Advocate. She is Anam Cara.
I often wonder how Moira juggles all her roles and still manage to support all the members of ChooksSA. Some of whom are only just starting their entrepreneurial journey, others who have started and are now stuck. And others who are succeeding and blazing trails of fire (Louise Nobes, Amy Orange, Sarah Gun, yes I am name dropping).
As an observer, as a migrant, as a young mother, it amazes me how women are supportive of each other, given the right container. This is just an intro blog- check out ChooksSA- I will be writing 3 more in-depth blogs about this amazing space and the members who are making way for a world where ‘the future is female’ .
The Impact Observer aka Sophia
Dr Sophia Harryba is a psychologist with a passion for data to make meaning and drive decisions for change. She volunteers with Chooks SA and is helping set the frame, tools and conversations needed to measure the impact and the conditions required to close the gender investment gap.
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