08 Mar 2022


Post written by: Erin Walcon

Today is International Women’s Day, 2022.

Since we first began Doorstep Arts back in 2013, it has always been a women-led organisation.

Back then, and now, our business model has always been constructed around the prioritisation of our working lives as mums or women with care responsibilities.

We operate a person-centred, emotionally-intelligent, small, caring, grassroots team. We look after each other.

Our small team has grown.

And grown.

And grown.

We’re all still part time.  We are still proudly women-led.

We are all grafters. We all get stuck in.

Our kids are always welcome. Sometimes we make them carry stuff.

Our ethos stays the same.

We value and use a feminist model of leadership.

(Love these 10 principles, as described by Action Aid.)

This isn’t always easy. Sometimes, across our 8 year history, it has been hard to feel confident that we can proudly own our unique webbed, collaborative business model. Sometimes we’ve been told that a business structure needs to adhere more to ‘norms’ or been asked to make our fluid, responsive, adaptable, ‘co-parented’ way of working more conventional. We have resisted. Sometimes feistily.

We have held firm.

We think that the world needs more alternate models.

If we want our world and economic systems to change, we need to honour and respect alternate models of leadership.

We need to embrace that organisations can and must look different, if we want a different kind of world. And our world needs us to be brave, to lead, and to lead differently.

Our model isn’t easier.

It means that we sometimes we double-task or triple-task. It means we leave meetings to do school runs (and we don’t apologise for that).

It means that even while I’m writing this blogpost, I’m answering children’s questions and sorting lego.

It also means that we can ensure that our work is truly, authentically, serving our children in our region.

It means we navigate the wonderful, complex, layered realities of being working women, working mums, on our own terms, inventing our own way. We do this together, as a team. We have navigated Covid on grit and graft. We haven’t stopped. Not a single person in our term was furloughed. We worked through. We continued to serve the children & young people in  our community, throughout the pandemic.

Happy International Women’s Day, folks.

Here’s to all the organisations out there who are proudly, bravely, daily, via hard work, graft and endurance, reinventing the world.

Let’s keep going.