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Happy International Women’s Day!

Our Generator Union Members share their thoughts on IWD

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.Celebrate women’s achievement.

Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity.IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.

We asked some of our Generator Union members and friends to share their thoughts on what IWD means for our sector.

Firstly we wanted to explore why is it important for women to be in a decision-making position within the creative and culture sector. First up to provide their thoughts was Corinne Lewis-Ward, a business owner, artist and creative superforce for the north east.

“More women in decision-making roles within this sector is essential. Many women use creativity & culture to provide them with a flexible income around their unpaid caring responsibilities. However, the lack of career progression and security in this area means that women have substantially less financial security and autonomy. Decision-makers that have an understanding of the challenges that women face are crucial, in order to provide women with more independence, equality, and financial freedom.” Corinne shared.

Corinne Lewis-Ward, business woman, artist, and creative. Corrinne also sits on the GU Strategy Group.


Jacqui Kell, Executive Director and Joint CEO for Live Theatre, added “It’s important to have a broad range of perspectives at decision-making level, at Live Theatre gender equality increases creativity and innovation and better represents our team, audiences and artists we work with.”

Live Theatre’s Executive Director and Joint CEO, Jacqui Kell

When we caught up with Generator Youth Advisory Board member, Rhiannon Livesley, we asked her what advice would she give to a woman or gender minority who’s working within the creative and culture sector. “Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion. Offer your point of view, allow yourself to be open about new creative ideas and concepts and be willing to take risks. Always believe in yourself and know your worth.

Rhiannon, who’s the Creative Services & Production Manager at Cravens addedCreativity needs a sense of self-belief and confidence. If you show your passion to learn, determined and resilient you will shine. Remember to never be afraid to show your creative side and use it to your advantage.”

Jacqui went on to simply add “Do you, be authentic and persevere.”

Rhiannon Livesley, Creative Services & Production Manager at Cravens. Rhiannon keeps us true to our wider mission at Generator by sitting on our Youth Advisory Board, and GU Strategy Group.

Generators very own Pippa Morgan added “I know everyone says it but networks really are everything!

Pippa works across many different aspects of the North East music industry and is hugely passionate about the talent that exists within the region and ensuring there is fair representation and visibility throughout. “I don’t know where I’d be without the support of some really amazing women in the North East’s creative industry.

“Reach out to those you admire to pick their brains and build connections – in my experience other women are always extremely willing to skill share as much as possible and support each other!”

Pippa Morgan, our Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, responsible for ensuring you stay up to date on all things Generator

Generator Union Friend, Signpost Productions’s Head of Partnerships and Development, Claire Wilson

Taking a break away from her busy role as Head of Partnerships and Development at Signpost Productions, Claire Wilson shared her thoughts on what they would like to see change in the creative and culture sector around gender equity.

“Gender equity means creating an inclusive world and recognising the difference between equality and equity.  As a woman in the creative industry, we still battle for equal opportunities but what if equal isn’t always fair?”

Head of Creative Development at Generator, Helen Walkinshaw adds ” It’s not enough to simply employ women, trans and non-binary people as part of your workforce or plug spaces on a line-up. You need to be prepared to listen to their lived experiences and implement change.”

“Visibility is essential, but cis men in the industry need to share their power and space, and identify how impactful male privilege is. The creative and culture sector is more diverse than it has historically been, but it’s not equipped or prepared to adequately support and value these new diverse voices.”

“Systemic change will take time, but if cis men in positions of influence and power aren’t effectively nurturing or valuing women, trans and non binary people, and are expecting them to bend to fit into an “outdated model” they won’t retain these people.”

Helen Walkinshaw is the Head of Creative Development at Generator; they are responsible for shaping and delivering our music and talent development programme and are passionate about the North East creative community.

Helen explains further on how change across the industry is needed. “Gender diversity on a line up isn’t enough when the venue managers, sound engineers, booking agents, producers, tour managers, label execs, and many more. are all predominantly cis het white man.”

“Men – share your knowledge and use your privilege to elevate other voices that aren’t invited into the rooms you’re in!”

Claire concludes, “Everyone isn’t the same and everyone has different circumstances. Once we recognise this and give people the resources and opportunities to be equal that’s when equity can be achieved.

“Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there.”


More Information on IWD 

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

Marked annually on March 8th, IWD is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • educate and awareness raise for women’s equality
  • call for positive change advancing women
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

Everyone, everywhere can play a part in helping forge gender equality. From a wide range of IWD campaigns, events, rallies, lobbying and performances – to festivals, parties, fun runs and celebrations – all IWD activity is valid. That’s what makes IWD inclusive.

What’s the IWD 2023 campaign theme?

For IWD 2023, the global campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity.

The campaign aims to encourage important conversations on Why equal opportunities aren’t enough and Why equal isn’t always fair. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.

We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity.

And to truly embrace equity, means to deeply believe, value, and seek out difference as a necessary and positive element of life. To embrace equity means to understand the journey required to achieve women’s equality.

Learn about the campaign theme here, and consider the difference between equity and equality.

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