The Rising Festival makes a mark on International Women’s Day


Last Saturday saw a team from KISS head down to The Rising Festival to celebrate International Women’s Day.

KISS was one of the sponsors of the event which is held each year by The Rising Network – an organisation which empowers women to create the life they love by creating meaningful change and balance across all areas of life.

The event, attended by 250 women, was a resounding success – no surprise given the calibre of panellists and speakers – and covered a diverse range of topics and workshops.

The event was a powerhouse of a celebration with speaker panels featuring the likes of Dame Mary Archer, Prof Dame Carol Black FRCP FMedSci, Sharon Allen OBE and Helen Lederer to name but a few. The workshops ranged from ‘Finding Your Voice’ with spoken word artist Jaspreet Kaur to ‘Empowering Women in the Workplace’ led by Dr Minha Rajput-Ray.

KISS senior planner Matt Higgs held an interactive workshop on how to stand out from the crowd: ‘Personal Branding and Your Future Self’. The session was jam packed with women learning about the importance of the image they want to portray to the world and where they want to be in five years’ time.

“It was fantastic to see so many women talking about personal goals. We worked on the importance of playing to individual strengths as the key to making yourself stand out in a competitive environment. I was really impressed with the time and thought taken to map out the individual mood boards,” commented Matt, who will be running a follow-up event to the workshop in April, which will discuss the importance of visualisation and personal branding in more depth.

Wrapping up the event, KISS MD Sarah Reakes (also a member of the Festival Committee) summed up the essence of the day and invited the audience to share their most memorable or powerful quotes of the day.

So, in no particular order, we thought we would share some of our favourite quotes:

“When you get into a position of influence as a woman you should use it.”
Dame Mary Archer, Chair of the Science Museum Group

“Be proud of being sensitive …Be who we are. Be true to ourselves. Be proud…unashamedly support other women” Sharon Allen, OBE, CEO, Skills for Care

“Learn to stand your ground and don’t be shifted – don’t let somebody push you onto another place.” Dame Mary Archer, Chair of the Science Museum Group

“Don’t try to be a man. Embrace female traits as leaders to succeed.” Helen Lederer, Comedian

In summing up her feelings about the day Festival organiser, Lily Cheng, founder of the Rising Network said, “Now in its second year, The Rising Festival continues to go from strength to strength. The event covered some of the most fundamental issues facing women today, including the gender pay gap, need for more positive female role models and importance of finding your own voice.

“I am always humbled and inspired by the stories I hear at The Rising Festival. We still have a long way to go, but it feels like the tide is finally turning to create a more gender-balanced world, thanks to global initiatives like International Women’s Day and this year’s #BalanceforBetter theme, and groups like The Rising Network, which brings together women both through our online platform and comprehensive events programme so we can keep talking, sharing stories and pushing for real change.”

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KISS is the creative agency that clarifies the complex.