Miriam González is the founder of the Inspiring Women campaign, a UK-based organization that gives girls in school opportunities to hear from female role models who cast vision for their futures.
This week on Sam’s Dream Blog, González, named an Influential Educator by Noodle, shares about the importance of mentors, giving back and seizing opportunities on the dream journey.
Sam's Dream Blog: What’s your dream for the Inspiring Women campaign? How did your dream originate? How has it evolved?
Miriam González:My dream is that every girl in the UK, and then in every country, realizes that they are free to shape their lives, that the only constraints they face should be the extent of their own effort, and that there are lots of women out there ready and willing to help them.
I would like to see the Inspiring Women campaign expand abroad, and I would simply love convincing UN Women to support the campaign worldwide.
I started the Inspiring Women campaign in 2013. I have always been passionate about gender issues, but it wasn’t until I had been myself subject to many labels in the public eye that I realized I should speak up publicly about the remaining sexism in our societies. I believe in women speaking up and talking to the next generations of women. That is what the Inspiring Women campaign is all about.
Also, I had read an interesting survey conducted by Girlguide in the UK, saying that more than 55 percent of girls aged 11-21 years old don’t think they have enough access to female role models. So I thought, “That is ridiculous, there are thousands of great women out there. Let’s just bring them to schools where the girls cannot miss them!”
And that is precisely what we do. We ask volunteers to give one hour per year to go back to school to talk about their life, their career, their choices… In two years, we have gotten nearly 20,000 wonderful volunteers from all backgrounds within the UK, and we have reached 500,000 girls at state schools across the country.
Now, we are about to launch the campaign internationally, and we do hope that the U.S. joins us soon!
SDB: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Miriam González: Being able to start the Inspiring Women campaign is one of the things I feel most proud of. I feel very privileged for having had the public exposure (thanks to my husband’s role as the UK Deputy Prime Minister the last five years) that has allowed me to set up the Inspiring Women campaign and have such big success.
SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
Miriam González: I have had many dreams throughout my life and my career, but I never had a plan. There is not a clear path for everyone, and we all have ups and downs. The most important thing is to aim high and keep trying, no matter what. I have always worked hard – I still do work hard - and I have taken most of the opportunities I have found on my way.