Getting Involved is how we work in partnership with women to make things better both inside and outside of Pause. This happens by ensuring that women who have experience of the Pause Programme are at the heart of decision-making and that we work together to learn, collaboratively solve challenges, and grow as an organisation.
Since the Getting Involved team was formed in 2019, 536 individual women who have worked with Pause have taken part in 172 Getting Involved activities. 156 of these were Pause activities such as focus groups, workshops and events, and 16 were external, such as getting involved in research or external consultations.
Alongside Pause’s Getting Involved programme, the Pause Advisory Group – a group of 12 Pause graduates from across the country – comes together once a month to help our board of trustees and national team make important decisions about how and why we do things as an organisation.
Impact on women
Our aims for the impact on the women of Getting involved are that they are meaningfully involved and that they benefit from their involvement. Women who choose to get involved have reported that they feel heard and respected through their involvement and that they value being involved in influencing decision-making. They have also reported benefitting by meeting others who have had similar experiences, their confidence increasing, and through learning new skills.
“I am benefitting from making a difference and getting experience for the future and jobs.”
– woman on the Advisory Group
Impact on Pause
Our aims for the impact on Pause of Getting Involved are that decision-making is improved, that involvement is embedded throughout the network, and that women have a role in governance. Since 2019, Pause staff members have consistently reported improved confidence in their decision-making where women have been involved. Involvement has been embedded throughout the Pause network by the Getting Involved Champions from each practice who regularly come together and share learning about how they are involving women locally. Women also have a role in governance through the Pause Advisory Group.
“I was told […] they had confidence in the changes we were making, that the changes were for the right reason, and that they were pleased that Pause had listened to [them] and reflected on our position.”
– Pause staff member
Our aims for the external impact of Getting Involved are that there is increased awareness of the experiences of the women Pause supports, and that there are improvements in policy and practice. Through getting involved in Pause’s campaigning and influencing work, 34 women have been involved in 25 influencing activities since 2020, such as the Pause podcast and focus groups. 26 women have been involved in 16 external influencing activities such as research and public consultations, which are leading to a wider awareness and understanding of the issues that they experience.
By monitoring the impact of Getting Involved at Pause, we have also learnt about how we can develop and improve the programme. Our ambitions are to increase opportunities for co-production and develop new feedback loops, in order to demonstrate to women the impact of their involvement. We are aiming to strengthen the role women have in Pause’s governance structure and build women’s capacity to campaign and influence. Work is currently underway to learn more about the experiences of women from Black and brown communities who work with Pause, so that we can better support them.
Phoebe, our Women’s Involvement Officer, says:
“The impact that the women who choose to get involved at Pause have had over the past few years is significant. Many of the women who do get involved tell us that their motivation is a desire to improve things for other women who will have similar experiences. By making their voices heard, they have raised awareness of important issues, influenced decision making, and have undoubtedly made and continue to make Pause better for the women we support. A huge thank you to all 536 women who have got involved at Pause!”