On March 17th I had a video call (member mixer) with Bloom UK, It was such an empowering experience being surrounded by hundreds of other women in business (even if it was over zoom!). There were some really touching stories and facts from the founders of the company and we had some ice-breaker activities to discuss and get to know a few other women in breakout rooms. It was amazing to hear everyone’s stories of why they joined Bloom and it made me so happy that I decided to become a mentor for this awesome company!

 

Bloom

Sierra Six Media, digital marketing agency Essex, on call to Bloom UK
Bloom Network UK, Mentor Meeting with Jade Bartholomew, Director.

Bloom is a professional network for women in communications. This year Bloom has 500 members, mentoring 350 mentees.

Bloom was set up in 2010 by 3 co-founders who while at a WACL (Women in advertising and communication leadership) event saw a gap in the market for other women who aren’t leaders in the industry.

They originally partnered with Eve’s Housing Association – however, this has since closed. But they didn’t want to stop supporting the women’s refuge as it’s such an important, underfunded cause.

“Every 3 days a woman is killed by a partner”

Bloom now continue funding the cause through Women’s Aid, as a portion of the Bloom membership fee goes towards the charity and last year £50,000 was raised from Bloom alone!

 

Bloom’s Manifesto tackles the largest barriers to women in communications:

“We need to break down the barriers in our way. The cultural ones, the industry ones and the ones we reinforce within ourselves. We are committed to empowering women to be whoever they want to be, to unlock their full potential, to fight for the equity they deserve”

A lot of the Bloom members joined in a difficult time of their lives so Bloom connects them to people with things in common.

“I joined my job as one of the only women, I wanted to find a tribe so I didn’t feel so alone, then i found Bloom”

Bloom is an inclusive network, although it is targetted towards women – everyone is welcome, including men. There are 6 inclusive groups in Bloom – Bloom in colour, Bloom MenopauseBloom NeurodiversityBloom ParentsBloom Pride, and Bloom Womb.

“Bloom helped me to discover how to create boundaries and how to look after my mental and physical wellbeing”

In 2019 Bloom realised that the ‘Me too’ movement was causing men and women to drift further apart. So they took the initiative to create ‘The Exchange‘ which is a cross mentoring program that allows women to talk to men in the industry and share stories. It opens the conversation between men and women, looking at our internal biases and blind spots. There are around 200 members in the program this year.

‘Zoom Bloom’

Bloom has continuous events throughout the year to keep the conversation going. Creating a very welcoming environment with zoom calls and events such as coffee mornings, disco yoga, skill-sharing, training and member mixers.

You can apply to be a mentor/mentee and join events such as ‘Achieve Your Potential’ and ‘Bloom Fest’ on the Bloom website.

Sierra Six Media digital marketing agency Essex, on call to Bloom UK
Bloom UK 2021 Events

 

Women’s Aid

As I previously stated Bloom is partnered with Women’s Aid, a charity that has existed for 45 years now, every year they help thousands of women to escape domestic abuse.

“We keep their voices at the heart of everything we do”

There are 170 members and last year £900,000 was raised which is amazing but is not nearly enough. Women’s aid gives survivors a voice, allowing them the opportunity to campaign at parliament, with huge successes from making coercive and controlling behaviour a criminal offence, to making Relationships and Sex Education a mandatory part of the national curriculum! They also do awesome things like training judges, police and other roles in how to spot and how to handle domestic abuse cases.

Sierra Six Media, digital marketing agency Essex, partnered with Women's Aid
Women’s aid UK campaigns

They have a live chat helpline online and an online forum where victims can talk to survivors about their current situation. They have even set up a campaign called Rails to Refuge which allows women who are escaping abuse, free travel to get to somewhere safe.

In the first 2 weeks of lockdown in March 2020, demand for live chat went up by 44% and there was 27,000 in the queue for live chat. Lockdown meant that unfortunately women were trapped at home with their abusers 24/7, and they are using covid against them, as coercion and fear tactics – coughing on them, spitting on them, flouting rules and coming home – putting the women in danger.

“It’s estimated that 1.6million women experience domestic violence in 2020”

This last year has to lead to a much larger number of women seeking help and coming out against their abusers. Women’s Aid needs more funding and by joining Bloom you get all of the empowering benefits from the network plus knowing that you are donating to such a worthy cause.

 

 

 

BelEve

Bloom also work with and have an event in partnership with ‘BelEve‘ which gives women, aged 8 – 21, insights into the commercial environment and opportunities for internships.

“Inspiring the next generation of female leaders”

 

Sierra Six Media digital marketing agency Essex, partnered with BelEve.
BelEve statistics about women in tech

They focus on giving young women as many opportunities as possible in communications and other areas. They work not only with girls but also with their primary influences such as teaches, parents and local communities.

They want to support and empower girls to fulfil their life and career prospects. Their mentoring ensures guidance, support and sustainability. Building self-belief, self-love, self-confidence and addressing emotional, mental and physical well-being.

 

Bloom supports many great causes such as Women’s Aid and BelEve. If you are interested in joining Bloom, it is so so worth it. The feelings of empowerment and supporting amazing causes is awesome! The 2021 applications are now closed but you can still subscribe to their newsletter and keep up to date with the work they’re doing

 

Alice Baker, Digital Marketing Executive, Sierra Six Media