I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of International Women’s Day up until the point I found out about this conference. As a woman, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that. But, truthfully, I suspect I’m not the only one. It’s a different time now – where feminism matters and has most definitely come to the fore in recent years. So, when I heard my then employers, East of England Ambulance Service, were collaborating with Essex Police, Essex Fire and Rescue and Kent Police, to host the first Blue Light International Women’s Day Conference at Great Leighs, I knew I wanted to be there to capture it!
The event, held at Great Leighs, had a variety of stalls and stands, activities and some awesome talks from Ann Millington and Jo Shiner, amongst others. There’s always a friendly rivalry between the emergency services but it’s always lovely to see them pull together to create something wonderful like this. Which is exactly what they did with this conference!
It was fantastic to see women in blue, black and green all coming together – sharing their experiences of life in the emergency services from a female perspective, creating connections and bonds. For a long time, all the services have had a strong patriarchy but, in recent years, this has definitely changed and all three services are now full of strong women doing amazing things.
It turns out, from a personal perspective, that photographing this event was a really good thing for me. Not only did I gain some new experience, never having photographed an event like it before, but I also got to hear some wonderful talks by some truly wonderful women that I would not have heard otherwise. It also led to another amazing event later that year, but I’ll blog about that another time!
For now, here are a few photographs of this event that I really should have shared a lot sooner than today. Here’s to strong, independent women. #PressforProgress
I love photographing worthwhile events like this one. If you have an event in the Fraser Valley that you want to be captured, please do get in touch!