Red:GLOW – building young women’s leadership skills

What is Red:GLOW

Baytree, together with local partners in the UK, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, Latvia and Italy has been working on the development of Red:GLOW; a project that, for the last two years, has promoted active citizenship and supported around 1,000 young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to build the skills they need to be leaders in their schools, universities, workplaces and communities.

Red:GLOW- stands for Gender, Leadership, Outreach and Work, with Red meaning ‘network’ in Spanish. The work that we do through the network has helped develop young women and youth workers’ understanding of the links between gender, leadership, citizenship and young women’s agency. The network aims to strengthen women’s leadership by empowering and inspiring young women across Europe.

Why women’s leadership matters

Women are not new to leadership as leaders such as Elizabeth I, Joan of Arc, Rosa Parks, Indira Gandhi and many more come to mind. Women have fronted civil rights movements and medical breakthrough; they have won Nobel Peace Prizes and ruled countries and empires and yet women are still significantly outnumbered by men in the most positions of influence and power, across all sectors.

There is no lack of qualified and highly skilled women to fill leadership positions, with women in the EU representing 60% of new graduates (European Social Fund). However, in 2017 the gender pay gap in the EU stood at 16% and has only changed minimally over the last decade. It means that women earn 16% on average less per hour than men. Women in the EU are also less present in the labour market than men. In 2017, the gender employment gap stood at 11%, with 68.2% of women across the EU being employed, compared to 79.2% of men. On average, women spend fewer hours in paid work than men: 31.3% of women across the EU are in part-time employment, in comparison to 8.7% of men (European Commission). Alongside a multitude of reasons including discriminatory laws and attitudes, negative stereotyping and bias that restrict their leadership and full participation in work, women are also disadvantaged by unequal access to the resources needed to become effective leaders. Young women experience discrimination based on both gender and age. In particular, critical gaps in funding and resources for education, skills development and mentorship impact the ability of young women to realise their full potential as leaders.

Red:GLOW resources

Over the last two years all participating organisations, each with a strong track record in empowering young women, including many from migrant, minority and disadvantaged backgrounds have worked collaboratively to develop a range of resources, youth worker guides and policy recommendations that we hope will support those working with young women and policymakers alike, address a range of topics around gender and leadership.

As part of the resource pack, Baytree developed a 12-week leadership programme which equips young women aged 14 to 30 to develop the necessary skills, resources and mindset to become leaders and active citizens within their schools, universities, workspaces and communities. It comes with a youth worker handbook as well as an accompanying participant handbook, which can both be downloaded in 6 different European languages.

Young women participating in the Red:GLOW project, including young women at Baytree, were given the challenge of working together to develop short films to explain what the project meant to them. Creating and crafting the films, from beginning to end, gave young people the chance to lead and share what was important to them. 

You can also have a look at the videos made by young women across our European partner organisations.

What the future holds for Red:GLOW

Red:GLOW is not only a 2-year project but is a network which we want to expand and develop. If you are an organisation that works with young women in Europe, we invite you to find out more about and join the network.

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