An event dedicated to the influential women in our lives

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What was it?

The TEDx University of Leeds committee organised an event dedicated to impactful women in the Student Union on Friday 23rd November in line with our TEDWomen2018 event.

The purpose of the event was to cultivate awareness among the student community for the purposes of TEDx.

Moreover, we asked the students to think of women that have really impacTED their lives.

At the end of the day, we managed to gather plenty of brief testimonials which really demonstrate that women are an integral part of everyone’s life. 

What we found

Going through the testimonials some interesting and important conclusions can be drawn.

(1) The great majority of students thought that  women can impact our life through their work in their professional environment or through their volunteering work.

It is characteristic that the name of the physicist and chemist Marie Curie appeared several times. This means that women who really revolutionise and innovate in their field are a source of inspiration for young girls.

(2) Many of the students we encounters mentioned and took pride in noting the influence of those who excel and inspire through the medium of the arts.

Some other familiar names to the wider public who influenced several students were J.K. Rowling, Audrey Hepburn, Virginia Wolf, Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald. The common characteristic of all these women is that they are artists who were not afraid to express themselves honestly.

They expose their souls, emotions and ultimately their whole personality to the public and manage to connect with their audience and share strong emotions.

(3) Another set of women who seem to be really influential are women who are concerned with social and political issues.

This was seen through the frequent appearance of characters such as; Michelle Obama, Emma Watson and Christine Lagarde.

These women and many more others actively try to share ideas believing that WE can change attitudes, lives and, ultimately the society we live in. 

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My big take away

At this point, I would like to point out that several names of women, who are not very popular to the wider public, appeared. It was quite emotional to read incredible stories of women who have affected the life of even one young girl with actions of smaller or bigger importance. 

This is a very important lesson for every woman around the globe because it means that women can really have an impact with the smallest of action.

So, I invite you on a journey to read some of the more touching testimonials, and I hope that they will touch you as much as they did me....

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Sylvia Pankhurst

"The daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst who was rejected by her family for saying working women and women of colour needed to be included in the suffragette cause. She was ostracised and worked in South East London."

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J.K Rowling

 "Never gave up on her creative abilities and her passion for writing."

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My sister

"She never gives up and is my rock <3"

...and let's not forget

There is one woman who is part of everyone’s life.

 Unsurprisingly, that one woman makes a huge impact on us and was the most popular answer among all the students.

Yes you guessed correctly, it's our mothers/mummies/mums/moms/mams (whatever you call them). 

Mothers are so precious and no one can replace them (you only get one after all). They give us life, shape us and above all they love us unconditionally without expecting any reward.  

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My Mother

“Cause she shaped me to the woman I am now”

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Me Mam

“Strong resilient and persistent (at times!). Taught and introduced me to the world”

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My Mum

“She has taught me to always follow through with what I want to do”

Thank you!

Honestly, there are so many inspirational and touching testimonials which were worth a mention in this article. Unfortunately, the space is limited and the ones featured here are just based on subjective judgement of the author- sorry! 

If you would like to share and mention an important woman who has really impacTED your life make a post on social media and tag @tedxuol and use the hashtag #impacTED. We would really love to read your own testimonials. 

All the members of the committee would like to thank everyone who participated in our event. 

We hope to see you soon at our first event of the academic year: TEDWomen2018

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What to have your say?

If you have any interesting ideas or know of any interesting research or events taking place on campus, let us know!