Empowering Women with Amy Williams

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I met Amy a few months back via a common friend. John thought we would like to meet each other and find common interests. He did not explain much. But he was not wrong. Amy has launched a business dedicated to women empowerment – Fem-Foundry. I am passionate about women empowerment. It seemed like a good fit. So today, I decided to bring Amy to the podcast to bring light to our common passion.

Why do we need Fem-Foundry?

First, it may help you to know what it is. Fem-Foundry is a digital media platform exclusively dedicated to women. A space for women to be without fear of judgement, a platform for women to be what they wanted to be, to connect and collaborate, to express themselves freely, to learn and develop. The platform is not about competing with each other, but rather about collaborating. It is a space for every woman, whether you are 25 or 65. Women can choose their topics and they come from around the globe. One can find the more practical money courses or the more new-age spectrum on “how to manifest”.

Putting women in a box

One of the things Amy really wanted to avoid was the tendency we have to put women in a box. The mother. The working-mum. The career trailblazer. The entrepreneur. The wife. The daughter.

Fem-Foundry avoids bucketing women and gives them a space where they can choose what to be. One day you may go into a career “room”, another day into a wellness one, or parenting, or money issues. You are not defined by any of them. Releasing right? So maybe there are very ambitious career-driven people on the platform, but there are also those that don’t want to pursue it. And this is a place for both.

“I personally think putting women in boxes is reductive and I think it stifles progress towards a more equal society”

Amy Williams

Building Role Models

“74% of women globally don’t feel like they have a positive female role model”

Whilst there are a lot of mentoring programs, people are not always comfortable asking “silly questions”. So Amy wanted to have leaders that people could easily reach out to. They are called the Foundry Leaders. Leaders may be smaller or larger influencers, and many you will know because they are someone influential in a specific community, not because they have millions of Instagram followers. They each matter according to interest areas, have a story behind them and are within arm’s reach for people to ask their questions and connect to. Role models are a key problem for women advancement, so I am curious to see how it develops as a key part of the platform.

Not on my watch

As we discussed the women stats that have assaulted us during this pandemic, Amy mentioned she read about how the pandemic may have pushed women back by 20 years. Her immediate reaction was “not on my watch“. That is why Fem-Foundry’s timing is now.

Whilst we thought we had done great advances in the opportunities that women were getting, the pandemic has brought a harsh reality forward. Women are dropping the workforce more rapidly. Many of them had more precarious jobs that did not hold “working from home”. Others had to revert to be carers as the other part was often making more money. Many side-entrepreneurs had to leave their businesses behind to care for the children under home-schooling. The effects are still being felt.

Fix the crown

“Be the woman that fixes the other women’s crown, without telling the world it was crooked”

It is great to talk about women platforms, but sometimes, we must admit women are not the nicest to each other. So I am curious about how Fem-Foundry can establish a different culture. Amy is very focused on this fundamental concept of working together and being better together. It tries to teach women about the importance of operating in this way across any vertical. About how adjusting someone else’s crown we eventually get a boost to ourselves.

Having done this podcast featuring women leaders around the world, that is definitely something that I am trying to do. And I have certainly been learning from each woman that I have “visited” on this journey.

Launching in the middle of the “waves”

Amy launched the beta version of this new business in the second week of March 2020 as Female Tribes. Talk about timing! Naturally, the investment money that was on the way never made it there. It all got very challenging. However, the pandemic brought to light the importance of having a platform like this.

“I have always been resilient, but this has really tested my resilience in every possible way”

Amy Williams

As they re-launched as Fem-Foundry in August, they benefited from everyone being online, but no-one was really into an app that promised to improve their lives. There was no time for that! Finally, this changed in December and since then the platform has been achieving solid organic growth. According to Amy, it is like a light was switched on!

A country girl in the city

For the first lockdown, Amy was in London and did struggle to find space. However, the lockdown allowed her to have no FOMO as she just worked through and put in the hours to launch her business. She has now moved to the countryside and space has boosted her creativity and severely helped her mental health. First thing in the morning she now gets the dogs out and does a morning meditation. Morning daily habits have been key to help lift her up. And we found out we both accepted to now like Yoga

Amy had her share of highs and lows in 2020. Trying to fundraise for a business during a global pandemic, when you so deeply believe in what you are doing can really feel disheartening. And as the platform starts to get traction, now the days have more highs as people join the platform and the conversations get more engaging. Not, it’s onwards and upwards to lift up women. Better together.

Before we go…

  • 2020 Advice: Don’t be impatient. Be easier on yourself!
  • 2020 Lesson: To be grateful
  • 2020 Challenge: Being a female trying to raise funds in a global pandemic. And trying to launch a business.
  • Word for 2021: Optimistic

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Produced by Alice Stansfield

Disclosure: I am now an angel investor in Fem-Foundry


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