Below you can hear from Emily, an alumna of our corporate programme in a financial services sector company, about what the Fearless Futures programme has meant for her, in her own words.
Fearless Futures has been an eye-opening, humbling, transformative and at times, terrifying journey of (self) discovery. Terrifying in that it has brought to my attention, much more than I ever knew, the huge injustice that exists in the world we live in. And boy, did I need to hear this.
A number of factors made Fearless Futures so beneficial to me. What was so enriching was that my co-participants were colleagues of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. By sharing all of our unique experiences of society, some intense and really thought provoking discussions were had. My experience, as a white, middle class, able-bodied female was not quite the same as perhaps a colleague of colour. And the discussions we had simply reinforced the fact that a crazy power dynamic exists in this world and if we fail to challenge it, it will only continue; giving power to those that society affords more privilege (white, middle class, able bodied, straight men), while suppressing and taking it away from those that don’t meet these constructed standards.
Most importantly, Fearless Futures has taught me what I can do to challenge the status quo and make the world a fairer, more vibrant and all round better place. Admittedly, at the beginning of the course, I was quite cynical about how I, on my own, could make any difference. But my attitude and perspective soon shifted when I realised how just a number of small actions can have a real impact on my immediate working environment.
I am now committed to no longer participating in or laughing along to casual sexist ‘banter’. I’ll no longer sit quietly in meetings that are dominated by men, feeling that my ideas aren’t good enough. And I’ll no longer hear a discriminatory comment and let it go unchallenged.
I strongly believe that it’s these small actions that will slowly erode the status quo. And if every one of us commits to our own set of small actions, the world WILL become a better place. A place that will allow everyone to flourish and be their true, fearless selves.
Key for me has been learning about and understanding privilege. Before the course, I was quite oblivious to the privilege I am afforded, simply for being born white and able bodied. ‘Privilege is invisible to those who have it’ and this has really struck a cord with me. I now understand that I must use my privilege for the greater good; to promote others’ voices that aren’t always heard and to be be an ally to those less privileged.
I would highly recommend Fearless Futures to everyone I know. If we all did this course, the world would be a better place.
It has been a welcome eye opener for me and I truly believe it has made me a better person.