I have been asked on several occasions why it matters that I’m a woman of colour or an an Asian woman so I decided to ask a group of young leaders. I had the opportunity to talk to this amazing group last week.
I spoke with 20 people from diverse backgrounds who were on an outdoor leadership course as part of a youth group. The aim of my talk was to inspire them but listening to them talk inspires me. Representation does matter.
“If she can do it, I can do it.” This is so powerful and being able to inspire these individuals motivates me. This expedition is about so much more than me.
We all have grown up with different barriers and boundaries. People say the outdoors is for everyone. That is true but it’s not always that easy to go and do something you know nothing about or not to see anyone that looks like you doing it.
It’s hard to step out of your comfort zone. I was worried about even describing myself as a woman of colour because of how other people would perceive it. But this is how I identify. My brown skin, my culture is all part of who I am and it is a big part of me.
Hearing one of the young leaders relate to me as a brown woman is important. I’ve been told on several occasions that I don’t look like a polar explorer. I’m not the image that is expected.
It matters because I want individuals to believe they can achieve whatever they want, even if they have come from a background or community that has told them different.
I want to inspire everyone, no matter where they are from, no matter the colour of their skin and no matter where they’ve started. You are so capable. That is the message that I want to share.
I’m not describing myself this way to offend anyone. This has been part of me my whole life. I’m finally confident enough to say it out loud.
I’m aiming to be the first woman of colour to do a solo expedition in Antarctica
🎥 young leaders group 💜
#representation #thisgirlcan #diversity #representationmatters #breakingboundaries