Empowering women

9 July 2019 | Midlands

Grace Lynskey of the Empowerment Project

Inspirational workshops for women help boost confidence.

After Grace Lynskey graduated, she found herself at a crossroads.

The 23-year-old says: “I have had to overcome barriers and a huge drop in confidence myself.

“After I left university I had a crisis in confidence adapting to the real world. I did not know what I wanted to do or what my place was in the world. But I think I have found it now.”

Grace’s turning point came when she launched The Empowerment Project, which aims to boost women’s confidence and motivation, helping them in their careers as well as their personal lives.

Events include a motivational dance workshop, and attendees can also take part in interactive panel discussions with high-profile women and inspirational female role models.

The ‘Stand Tall & Walk Sassy’ project addresses challenges facing women of all ages, including body confidence, societal pressure, political engagement and representation. Grace says: “I created an event which I basically would want to go to.”

Her main wish is to instill confidence, something she feels many women lack, both young and old.

“I want to appeal to all women who need a boost and to remind them of who they are and that they are strong women who can achieve anything they want to,” she says.

“In today’s society we face so many pressures. For young women it is the pressure to look good, led by social media and determining that we should conform to a certain ‘perfect’ stereotype. But equally for older women, I have worked with those who have had their confidence massively knocked after a relationship breakdown or a professional knock-back.

“Having attended talks on similar topics before in London, I have found them extremely useful in developing my own confidence and empowerment. However, these are not commonly found in Birmingham and are therefore much more difficult to access from outside the capital.

“Combining this with the physical aspect of a dance workshop is hugely beneficial to offering an opportunity for both complete beginners to experienced dancers to develop their own confidence. The dance sessions are a bit of fun where we can be sassy and feel good.”

The Empowerment Project is being supported by Enterprise Nation, who recently joined forces with TSB to help small businesses embrace the digital revolution.

TSB's existing business banking customers will receive a year's free membership of Enterprise Nation and a 'digital MOT' to determine what advice and support will best unlock their digital potential.

Grace created the movement in her spare time after graduating with a law degree from the University of Birmingham.

She starts a new job with a law firm later this month, but has no intention of slowing down, and is planning new events for later this year.

Her determination is even more extraordinary when you learn she recently lost her beloved twin brother Jim. He was one of the youngest people in the UK to have a mechanical heart pump and inspired many others himself after he set up campaign group Save9Lives when he was first listed for a heart transplant. Sadly Jim passed away in May.

Grace says: “What happened to Jim has had a huge impact on me and has affected my mental health over the last few months. But he was very supportive of what I was doing and always helped me. His campaigning inspired me and I think he would be proud of what I hope to achieve. I am determined to carry on in his memory.”

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