Brandon Adventurers discuss International Women’s Day, inclusion, and gender equality

Posted: 8 March 2024

Scrabble tiles spell the word; Equality

In this article:

  • What does International Women's Day mean to the Adventurers?
  • Understanding the history of gender inequality
  • What does inequality mean to the Adventurers?
  • What happens next?

What does International Women’s Day mean to the Adventurers?

Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), we spoke to the Brandon Adventurers to find out what they think about the day and what it means to them.

The theme of this year’s IWD is #InspireInclusion and at Brandon, we are proud to employ people with learning disabilities and/or autism who work as co-production consultants for internal projects and external partners.

Our team of Adventurers are Brandon’s experts with lived experience on what inclusion truly means, so we wanted to know what they understood about IWD.

Understanding the history of gender inequality

Significantly, most of the Adventurers had not heard of IWD before. One of our newest members, Janis, had heard about it on the radio, Kate had seen it advertised in her role as a volunteer at her local hospital, and Tom had seen an item on the news.

The group needed support to understand why IWD was needed, so we shared with them some data on the history of gender inequality, including:

Discussing women’s rights

We also discussed the positive changes that have been implemented by people in the past through protests and pushing for change.

We then asked if these details had changed their minds about the need for IWD, and what the world would be like if everyone was treated equally.

Blake replied: “It would be a better world, everyone treated the way they want to treated, not how they don’t want to be.”

Janis said: “It would be a simpler world, with less conflict and violence.”

Nathan added: “If we had equality, there wouldn’t be a need for International Women’s Day, it would be a much better world.”

What does inequality mean to the Adventurers?

We asked if any of the Adventurers felt they had experienced inequality, either because of their gender, disability, or any other factor.

Nathan told us: “When I was trying to find a job, because they were looking for someone who could read and write, and I struggle with this, I had to search really hard to find someone who would employ me, as I have a learning disability.”

Blake said: “I was bullied at school because I had a learning disability.”

Tom explained: “I applied for work experience, they were aware of my disability and how this would impact the tasks I could carry out, but they had me going up a ladder and bringing down heavy boxes and this is not possible for me. At another interview I attended, I was told that they didn’t want me because I had a learning disability.”

What happens next?

The Adventurers were really interested in finding out about IWD and Brandon is committed to sharing more information about inclusion and equality affecting all protected characteristics with people we support, to raise awareness and increase understanding.

Lou Parfit, our Quality and Compliance Team Administrator, who led the IWD discussion, said: “It was a really interesting conversation and really highlighted that important events such as IWD are not very accessible for people with a learning disability.

“The resources are not in an accessible format, and there was a general feeling that people may not want to discuss the subject matter with the people we support for fear of upsetting them.

“The Adventurers agreed that this subject is important, and they feel that if there was more information that was accessible to them, they could become great advocates for equality.”

More information

Find out more about the Brandon Adventurers and co-production at Brandon.

Get in touch

Speak to our friendly team to find out more about our support services, jobs, fundraising and volunteering opportunities and how we can support your organisation.

Sign up to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest from Brandon Trust through our quarterly newsletter.