Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women

Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women

So the time has finally come… this weekend sees the first ever #DMCollective Awards, organised exclusively by our brilliant community for every single Digital Mum graduate to celebrate their awesomeness.  

When we launched Digital Mums we wanted to create a supportive community to combat the isolation you can sometimes feel both as a mum but also a freelancer. That alumni community is nearly 1000 strong! Our community organising these awards and celebrating each other’s achievements is simply amazing and proof of the power of women working together.

Without the #DMCollective, we could not have continued to shape our courses and business the way we do but, most importantly, they are an incredible example of the power of women in business. Contrary to tired gender stereotypes of groups of women being catty and not assisting each other up the career ladder, the support and the warmth of the #DM Collective is an excellent example of how much stronger we all are when we help each other to realise our potential.

This project has been a real labour of love for some of our alumni community.  We caught up with the five main organisers in the run-up to the event, to hear about how the awards came about and what the #DMCollective means to them.

Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women
Nicole Andrews is one of the amazing organisers of the award

Nicole Andrew:

“The idea of the awards was inspired by the #DMCollective themselves. The amount of laughs, support and guidance offered by this group of nearly 1000 phenomenally talented and experienced women is mind-blowing. People are beyond generous with their time, and considering we’re all technically in competition with each other, that makes it even more special.

When one of the #DMCollective Ruth Gilbey told us she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I wanted to support her in some way. So we posted on the #DMCollective facebook group that we were thinking of organising some awards to celebrate our community and raise money for the Helen Rollason cancer charity that was supporting Ruth through her treatment. From that initial post we formed a committee and so far have raised more than £30,000 in donations.

Being a Digital Mum is so much more than being a social media manager. It has not only given me a new career, but a new-found confidence in my ability, and a new group of friends. Every day a Digital Mum makes me laugh on social media in some form.

The Awards are a celebration of not just our skills as social media managers (for which our analytics speak for themselves), but an amazing group of women coming together to achieve great things.

For me, personally, I am busier than ever, but the sense of achievement I get from building my own business, exceeding a client’s expectations, learning a new digital skill and still being able to pick my daughter up from school is what it’s all about - none of which were achievable in my former job as a journalist.”  

Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women
Ruth Gilbey proudly showing off her F word t-shirt

Ruth Gilbey:

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and I shared my story in a blog with the #DMCollective as a way of raising awareness. When NIcole contacted me about organising a fundraiser and awards it made so much sense.

There are nine of us working on the event (shout out to Ieva Busevica, Gemma Windham, Helen Manchip and Lara Protheroe as well!) and I’ve been bowled over by the talent, passion and dedication of all them, I keep calling them the #DreamTeam.

I’ve always been very vocal about how much I love the #DMCollective and being a Digital Mum and Social Media Manager.  It’s a very personal thing but I have worked throughout my treatment as that was very important to me. This wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have the skills I had learnt through the Digital Mums training course.  Office-based work just wouldn’t have been workable.

The whole #DMCollective has been behind me throughout my treatment cheering me on. Most of this community are online friends. They're women I’ve never met but who offer me unconditional support in so many different ways. I will look back on this year and think what a tough year. But think also what an incredible year. We have raised so much and put together an event that celebrates such a brilliant group of women.”

Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women
Cathy Wassell is a big fan of the #DMCollective

Cathy Wassell:

“The #DMCollective plays such an important role in my life and I wanted to be part of celebrating that. I also recently launched the #GoWithThePro campaign, calling on all businesses to see the true value of social media.

Organising the awards has been incredibly hard work but so rewarding and there have been a lot of laughs in our Slack channel along the way! No matter how well the night itself goes hearing that Ruth’s cancer has been blasted and her scans and biopsies are clear will always be the highlight of this journey.

The #DMCollective is just so worth celebrating - we are 100s of women who are basically competitors to each other but it never feels like that. We are unconditionally supportive and helpful to each other. I visit the Facebook group every day, multiple times, and I learn something new every day. Some days I hope I teach someone else something new too.”

Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women
The awards were all organised virtually - this is what a typical team Google hangout looks like.

Jenny Hall:

“The #DMCollective is proof that you don’t have to be ruthless to get ahead. It’s the support from other Digital Mum graduates that gives us wings to fly and realise our potential. We were all trained by Digital Mums to have confidence in our own ability.

Before I trained with Digital Mums I was sidelined at my marketing job post maternity leave and felt I had no choice but to leave. I went freelance, but my confidence was at an all time low. Digital Mums changed that. Post-graduation, I continued to work from home, but now earn enough to support my family while still being around for school nativity plays, outings and assemblies.

In true DM-style, the Awards Committee has been a virtual endeavour and a collective effort, mirroring how the wonderful #DMCollective works. We exceeded the 10,000 messages limit in Slack ages ago! It’s testament to the power of women that there have been no cross words, no flouncing off when we haven’t agreed, just support and positivity.”

Digital Mums Celebrating the #DMCollective - Women supporting Women
Here's Nicole and Ruth hanging out IRL and making the most out of the photo booth.

Clare McDonald:

“I created the website for the awards. It made total sense as since graduating from the Associate Programme I have built up a really successful website design business. When I finished the course I was doing more social media marketing but over time have concentrated more on this as it is a good fit with my previous career.

I love the #DMCollective although some days I wish I could have some of the hours back that I spend on there! It must be a very unusual forum in that it’s almost exclusively a happy and helpful place to be.

It’s an honour to be part of the Awards Committee and I genuinely feel like we’ve all achieved something amazing organising awards for the brilliant community that we are so lucky to be a part of.”

TIcket sales are now closed for the awards which are happening on Saturday December 2nd but you can still donate via the Just Giving page or take part in Ruth’s playlist campaign. More details on the Helen Rollason Cancer Support Charity can be found here

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