From Copenhagen to Kabul, computer programmers to racing-car drivers, we are combining our voices, skills and enthusiasm to support each other and demand fairness and equality for all. We all have something relevant to add to the conversation on equality, because we are all women. Here, we introduce you to some of the new girl squads working together who we feel are helping change the way the world talks about all women. We celebrate them – as you should. And we celebrate the women in your squad as well.More
ESTABLISHED: March 2014.
THE PLEDGE: ‘We are dedicated to discovering and highlighting the best of the emerging female artists on the street-art scene in the UK and beyond.’
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: They are the world’s largest all-female street art and graffiti collective. UNIFORM: Wear whatever you like, so long as you can paint in it.
BIGGEST HURDLE: Getting funding for their yearly London festival.
BIGGEST WIN: When 50 artists painting in London’s Leake Street Tunnel drew a crowd of over 10,000 in one day [March 2015].
MOST LIKELY TO: Create HUGE public art murals in the UK and internationally.
SLOGAN: ‘Let’s paint.’
GROUP HEROES: Street artists Swoon, Klor (123Klan), Odeith, MadC, Nychos, Aryz, Phlegm, Dank. HASHTAG: #FemmeFierce.
THE POWER TO: ‘Highlight the array of talent on a common platform.’
SOLIDARITY MEANS: ‘To be welcoming, creating a positive culture that allows expression and enhanced creativity. It is easy to be an asshole, real heroes are kind and give and gain respect.’
DO SAY: ‘Can I paint, too?’
DON’T SAY: ‘Do you know Banksy?’
SQUAD SOUNDTRACK: ‘Hip hop and drum and bass, or anything else that gets your creative juices flowing.’
COMPULSORY READING: Inspiring City (inspiringcity.com); Street Fonts: Graffiti Alphabets From Around The World by Claudia Walde (Thames & Hudson, £19.95). RULE: ‘Leave no wall blank.’
THE PLEDGE: To smash the stereotypes. This team of women are tearing up the West Bank’s male-dominated car-racing scene.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: They’re the first all-women race-car-driving team in the Middle East. UNIFORM: Fire-proof racing suits.
BIGGEST HURDLE: Finding places to practise, despite military occupation and restrictions on freedom of movement. BIGGEST WIN: Starring in the documentary Speed Sisters, out March 2016.
MOST LIKELY TO: Get a speeding ticket.
LEAST LIKELY TO: Stay home on a Friday night.
SLOGAN: ‘Born to speed.’ HEROES: Speed Sisters’ teammates Marah Zahalka, 24, the fastest woman in Palestine, and Noor Daoud, 30, the only female drift racer in the Middle East.
THE POWER TO: ‘We grew up not knowing that car racing was a possibility for us. Now young girls and boys come up to us and say, “We want to be like you.’’’
SOLIDARITY MEANS: ‘We compete against each other, but we are a team; we support each other no matter what.’
DO SAY: ‘Yalla’ (let’s go).
DON’T SAY: ‘Stop.’
SQUAD SOUNDTRACK: Put It in a Bag by Who Killed Bruce Lee, Baji Wenek by Apo & The Apostles.
COMPULSORY WATCHING: The Fast And The Furious – and the six others that come after it.
RULES: ‘Respect yourself and respect others. And drive as fast as you can!’
ESTABLISHED: 2011 in London, 2009 in Stockholm.
THE PLEDGE: ‘Our aim is to highlight female role models in tech, inspire others, and create networks for mentoring and sharing ideas.’
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: They’re serious about getting more women interested in tech, but they have fun doing it – hosting regular meet-ups with inspiring speakers.
BIGGEST HURDLE: ‘Not being seen as a women-only events organisation – we aim to be inclusive at our gatherings. Though our focus is on highlighting women in the industry, it’s important that we open our doors to everyone.’ (Men are allowed at the events if accompanied by a woman.)
BIGGEST WIN: ‘Our annual conference in London that brings together 200 women working in tech, with inspirational female speakers.’
UNIFORM: Come as you are.
MOST LIKELY TO: Have coffee and eggs at Ozone Coffee Roasters in London – their regular catch-up spot.
LEAST LIKELY TO: ‘Say no. We’ll find an opportunity in everything.’
SLOGAN: ‘Anyone can get on stage; anyone can share their knowledge.’
GROUP HERO: Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley, a British information technology pioneer, philanthropist and businesswoman.
THE POWER TO: ‘Provide support as well as empowerment; to have the courage to challenge yourself and society.’
SOLIDARITY MEANS: ‘Everyone should explore and be open to the tech industry, whether your work is directly impacted by it or not. It is the future and it opens a world of opportunity to all.’
DO SAY: ‘Anything is possible. We believe confidence and ambition are key, and we want to support our members to reach their goals.’
DON’T SAY: ‘I don’t think I can do it.' We hear this a lot from women lacking confidence in what they have accomplished.’
SQUAD SOUNDTRACK: Just A Girl by No Doubt.
COMPULSORY READING: Bossypants by Tina Fey.
RULES: ‘Bring your own ideas.’