The School of Visibility is an online school which supports women to find their voices, speak up and share their opinions, and become more visible at work and at home.
The statistics relating to women and visibility are damning. In almost every aspect of life we’re less visible than men (except of course, when it comes to opportunities to sexualise a woman’s body. Then we’re highly visible).
Our voices are also heard and valued less.
This isn’t the result of inherent biological differences between men and women. Women are not naturally less vocal than men. We’re not less intelligent. We’re not less passionate, or less interested in the future of the planet. We’re not less creative, or less competent, and we’re not less courageous. And yet these statistics persist because we live in a world where both our systems and our mindsets favour men over women, white over coloured, ably bodied over bodies with disabilities, straight over gay, cisgendered over transgendered.
Your thoughts on the worldwide problem of women and their oppression/lack of power/permission to be visible attracted me to your work. You are honest, spot on, and without gimmick. That’s so refreshing.
— Shalagh, Maryland, USA
For women to be more visible and vocal, both the systems and our mindsets have to change.
We believe that every woman on the planet has a role to play in creating that change.
To support you to play your role, The School of Visibility focuses on three key things:
- Dismantling oppression from the inside, out
- Taking small, consistent steps which increase your confidence around being seen and heard
- Stepping forward to lead and speak from the heart.
DISMANTLING OPPRESSION FROM WITHIN
Systems of oppression create a certain mindset within all of us; a white, patriarchal, homophobic, ableist, classist view of the world. It’s an intersecting system of ideas that sees most everyone benefitting in some circumstances and losing in others. What we’re interested in exploring at The School of Visibility is taking action that eliminates the oppressive mindset entirely. Because no one is truly free whilst we’re consciously and unconsciously reinforcing systems of oppression.
Using the lens of visibility, we explore the ways in which our societal conditioning has created visibility blocks in women of colour, white women, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, women experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, and members of the LGBTIA community. Some of the ways these blocks show are are; we become overly accommodating, we agree with others rather than challenge them, we support in the background, swallow our words, follow rather than lead, and comply with the wishes and priorities of people who experience more privilege than us, even when doing so doesn’t serve us.
TAKING SMALL, CONSISTENT STEPS
The most sustainable way to increase your visibility is by taking small, consistent steps to raise your profile. In this regard we currently work a lot with female entrepreneurs – particularly in the online space. Over time we hope to broaden our gaze to bring more focus to women in the workforce, women in politics, and women’s domestic lives.
What we believe here at The School of Visibility is that the more visible you become, the more influence you’ll have over your life. The more agency you’ll have to make decisions about the world around you. The more confident you’ll become to share your opinions and the more likely you’ll be to put yourself forward for opportunities.
STEPPING FORWARD TO LEAD AND SPEAK FROM THE HEART
We work with women on creating a new form of leadership. One that doesn’t perpetuate unhealthy masculine principles of push, competition, and hierarchy but one which understands the power of surrender and allowing, which embraces bodily wisdom, and which understands the necessity for collaboration.
We believe that the more women who can step forward and learn to lead from that place, speaking with compassion, and embodying this form of leadership, the faster we can realise the revolutionary social change that’s needed on this planet.
To learn more about the background to The School of Visibility and its founder Samantha Nolan-Smith, come on over here.