Social enterprise Feathersome works to uplift women through authentic storytelling, human connection and technology. Founder Janine Lee works to enable women’s voices to be spoken, seen, heard and valued, providing the Feathersome community with resources for improved leadership.
“I was motivated to start Feathersome while in a MBA classroom in 2016. Sitting as a minority within a traditional and patriarchal leadership landscape had spurred me to begin questioning the men and women around me at the time. I wanted to understand what leadership meant to them. It came to light, through discussions and research, that female CEO’s had all been through a major crisis,” Janine said. While working to produce honest and practical resources for women in leadership, Janine also looked into some data on safe housing and refuges for women who have experienced domestic violence. She felt compelled to develop a complementary tool that would support this issue. “So, a combination of moments, experience, injustice and fact combined back then to set me on my own leadership course of incubators and team building to develop a platform to uplift women leading and ensure we have authentic media and events where women’s voices are spoken, seen, heard and valued,” she said.
Janine finds Feathersome’s OneHopeTwoGive project one of the most rewarding initiatives of her organisation. This project is a message of hope collected from anyone in the community and physically given to a woman who is reaching out to a front-line service helping women affected by violence. “I always had in mind that if it helped just one woman feel supported by receiving a card I’d have done some good. This personal and hand-held value remains central to how it is distributed, so to know that it has impacted that many people, increased her self-confidence and enhanced her ability to find help during a time of trauma is so humbling,” she said. “On the other hand, the people who have written these cards are also impacted by the act of offering some of their own stories. We have many women and men share a piece of their experience and the tools that they used to lead themselves out of situations that were not serving them at the time. The name One Hope Two Give purposefully indicates that there are two parties involved in this exchange and both are receiving benefit from the process,” she added.
When asked about how Feathersome is impacting the community, Janine said, “A project like this complements the domestic violence awareness campaign and we are currently measuring impact to show how this is creating a deeper shift in people who have come into contact with it. Our followership online is quite evenly balanced between male and female support. I believe that women and men both benefit from messages of hope in person, online and the facilitation of physical cards are positive. The community is positively benefited from Feathersome’s projects. For example, proceeds from the Feathersome journal sale support the operations and distribution of one hope to give cards while other initiatives include a student mentorship program, supporting women in business by sharing their stories and supporting women in the creative industries.”
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