One of the things we have learned from the Disruptors mag-book series is that you do not have to be a high-powered celebrity or a Fortune 500 CEO to be a Disruptor. Most of the women we have met and some of whose stories we have featured in the series are disrupting the status quo in their personal and professional lives for the benefit of themselves, their families and others.
‘Disruptors’ is a tribute to the many women around the world who are disrupting the status quo in pursuit of positive change in their personal and professional lives, and to inspire many more to do so until such a time when the need to do so no longer arises.
What makes you a disruptor?
In the first series of Disruptors, we featured the stories of over 35 women challenging the status quo in pursuit of positive societal impact for women, young girls, underrepresented communities and other people. These women spoke on their experiences, the impact of their work, and discussed ideas, opportunities and resources for women.
We have recently reached out to even more women to speak briefly on what makes them Disruptors. Here are their awesome responses.
C-Suite Executive, Consultant and Co-Founder
Ever since I was a little girl, I was repeatedly told, and shown that being a woman means I need to prove myself and my worth.
I am the eldest daughter with 2 brothers born before me. I was born and raised in a council estate. I was educated in a household that was in survival mode for the best part of my childhood and teenage years and had a different education and life than my brothers.
I had to fight very hard to have agency in my life, have good grades, and win my freedom at the cost of the relationship with my nuclear family – that relationship hangs by a thread today. After managing to do all this, I then had to build a career in the media-tech industry with no network or introductions.
I am a disruptor because I broke generational beliefs and systems that affected women from similar backgrounds across my professional and personal life.
It has been the work of a lifetime and I hope it will continue for generations after me. I disrupted so people after me could have simple access and a model of what true independence looks and feels like.
UN Women UK CSW 66 Delegate, Women’s rights activist.
Being a disruptor isn’t about shouting the loudest or getting the most attention, it’s about being consistent in your goal for change, and ensuring that every decision you make is getting you there. I want to disrupt societal norms everyday, break boundaries and taboos, and make a long-term difference towards gender equality.
In high school, I applied to be Head Girl and was asked what changes I would make to the school. I proceeded to discuss the inequality of sex education, and that as women, sexual pleasure is equally as important to us and yet it is not taught. I didn’t get the role because “I didn’t fit the mould” but this only encouraged me to continue. Then in my final year at university studying International Development, I joined the GirlUp society and was voted to be the Well-being Officer. I participated in a podcast and spoke openly about my sexual assault, answering questions and drawing upon the challenges I faced as a young woman. This led me to write my dissertation on the manifestation of rape culture at university and start my MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict.
Am I a disruptor or am I disruptive? I hope I am both…