The Entrepreneur-spiration Series: Girls United for Change
Gender bias is an issue that has been widely reported throughout 2016, and continues to be debated and elevated.
From the gender pay gap; where on average women earn 78% compared to men in similar positions, to the fact that still only 19% of business owners are female (RBS, Women In Enterprise Report) and only 26% of FTSE 100 board members are women.
So, with that in mind, this month's Entrepreneur-spriation Interview is with the founders of an incredibly inspiring new website that is to tackle the day to day experience of gender bias from a slightly different perspective.
But Girls United for Change is no ordinary website, and these are no ordinary founders!
Founded by 11 year old Ella Rose and Amelia Sage, and later joined by Sela Eve, Girls United for Change is a website that highlights, discussed, addresses and challenges the daily experiences of gender bias that these young women experience, and they are on a mission to get girls and boys treated equally.
It's time to find out more....
Thanks so much for agreeing to share the Girls United For Change story. First of all, it would be great if you can introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about you?
Amelia: I am eleven years old and I like to code. As a present, I was given two circuit boards, a computer case, and a couple guidelines. I have built the computer and need to code it. Ella is one of my best friends. We met in kindergarten when girl scouts started and have been friends ever since.
Next, why don’t you tell us how you came up for the idea for your website Girls United? I’d love to know inspired you?
Ella: Amelia and I both hated the sexism we were seeing, and made the website to try to stop it. A few months later when Sela was visiting she became part of our team.
Amelia: At first Ella and I wanted to make a website about animals. Than we thought deeper about the real problems in the world and created the idea of a website for girls against gender bias. Than it was a matter of making it happen.
As young girls, I’m keen to understand what has been your experience of gender bias to date and how has it affected you? What does it make you think & feel about society?
Ella: When I was little I was the stereotypical girl. I liked fairies and dress up. When I was in third grade I happened to have nothing to do one recess and started playing kickball with the boys. They told me that because I was a girl I couldn’t play. They just got me mad. I played everyday from then to when I graduated from my elementary school and switched to a private school. If that first day I didn’t play kickball, now I would probably be like how I was when I was little. 30 minutes everyday has changed my life.
Amelia: Like Ella, I was also the stereotypical girl. I loved princesses and the colors pink and purple. I would always wear dresses or skirts. Than when I got into second grade, I started to not like princesses or dresses, but I wanted to wear blue jeans and I liked sports. Every time I wanted a toy I would look in the girls section and be disappointed. It was all pink and dolls. Same thing for clothes and it hasn’t changed. That’s why we have to change it.
What was that moment where you decided Girls United for Change is what you were going to do?
Ella: It was February 2016 when we started to make the site. We were very excited. I got strep throat the week after and was sick for a while and did the layout and some stories then. After that, it was just adding on.
Amelia: I knew that this was what we were doing after we decided not to do Anicare, but instead Girls United for Change. Than we just had to find the time to do it. Luckily, Ella got strep and was able to work on the website 24/7.
How did you create the site? What software did you use? Did you do it yourselves? How have you found managing a website?
Ella: We used the website making software Wix, and though it’s a little hard to understand it at first, it’s really easy when you get the hang of it. Managing the website is a little trickier, as we can’t always find good stories to blog about, and are looking for more kid blog writers. If you are a blog writer you have to add two posts a month, and if you want to be one go to the contact page of our website and tell us. We will include more info then.
What kind of marketing do you do to get people to visit your site?
Ella: My mom posts about it on facebook and I wrote a Buzz Feed reporter in August. We currently have a logo competition going on and would appreciate more entrees.
You have received a lot of media attention - what has been the public reaction so far?
Ella: Most people like it, but a few are unbelieving that eleven year old girls would something like this, but guess what? We did!
How would you like society to change as a result of Girls United for Change and the actions you are taking?
Ella: We would like companies to stop advertising different things to boys and girls, and for girls to not have to think that they have to be the stereotypical girl and that if they aren’t the stereotypical girl that something is wrong with them. We’d like to stop girls being portrayed as weak just because of their gender. I once beat a boy at a arm wrestle. After, he looked at me confused and said, “but why did you win? Your a girl.” I was extremely taken aback by the question. That is the thinking Girls United tries to change.
What are your aims and goals for Girls United for Change? Where do you want this exciting platform to go or to take you?
Ella: I want Girls United to be something most people know, that they think of when going to do something sexist and decide against it.
Finally, if there is key message that you want to promote via Girls United for Change, can you tell us what it is and why it means so much to you.
Ella: I just want to have girls and boys treated as equals, not just where I live, but all around the world.
A huge thank you to Ella Rose, Amelia & Sela for taking part in this interview.
From even trying to find pictures to support their answers you can see the amount of pink and gender bias that is ingrained in our daily lives - these young founders have a truly inspiring approach and a huge mission on their hands, we wish them every luck and fully support them on this journey of change!
The Entrepreneur-spiration Series is written by Lesley Stonier, Founder & Director of We Mean Business, London | Marketing Consultancy| providing strategic marketing advice to women, entrepreneurs and startup businesses.