Emma Watson - Inclusive Leader of the Month - balancenow

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  • 1 May
  • by Susan Jansen
  • Lead

I have a serious leadership crush on Emma Watson.

What’s not to love?  Emma is strong, articulate, humble, gracious and intelligent.

I remember as a 24 year-old, my biggest challenge was finding cool bars, deciding where to travel next and stumbling a bit less obviously through the early stages of my career.

Emma, in contrast, was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and launched the whole HeForShe movement.

I think I have watched this video 10 times.  It came out in 2014, when being focused on creating great, diverse workplaces wasn’t as popular as it is today.

My favourite points Emma and HeForShe make are:

  • To date, most of the dialogue on gender equality excluded men. The creation of HeForShe is a formal invitation for men to participate in the change. Men are just as imprisoned by stereotypes as women. Young men suffering from mental illness are not reaching out for help, believing it makes them less of a man.   Suicide is the biggest killer of men aged UK 20-49.   This is driven by a distorted view of what constitutes being a successful man.
  • Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.  Gender shouldn’t be two sets of opposing ideals, if we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be free
  • We need men to take up the mantle. So that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice.  But also, so their sons have permission to be human and vulnerable too, reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned.  And by doing so, be true and complete versions of themselves
  • The reality is if we do nothing, the gender pay gap in the UK won’t be closed for 75 years, 15.5m girls will be married as children in the next 16 years and it won’t be until 2086 that all African girls will get a secondary education
  • While we struggle for a uniting word, the good news is we have a uniting movement in HeForShe. If you believe in equality, please step forward and be seen and ask  yourself:

“If not me,  who?

If not now, when?”


Since taking on the role Emma has been inundated with support, but also terrifying threats, abuse and criticism.  Nevertheless, she continues to champion the rights of women, challenge current thinking and provide a shining light for young girls today.   For this reason, Emma is our inspiring leader of the month

Balance Now is answering the UN Women’s call to act on gender equality every day.  If you would like to talk about how we can help you do this same please Contact Us

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