Launched in 2019, Empower’s aim is to accelerate female and minority empowerment with effective, strategic, and compelling campaigns.
Run by the Higginson Strategy team on a pro-bono basis, Empower acts as a strategic communications practice with a purpose – levelling the playing field between men and women, not because equality is the end goal, but because it is the starting point for creating a space of genuine value, worthiness and respect in society.
Empower is committed to launching campaigns for organisations and people who are sympathetic to these goals or who want to incorporate them into their work and lives, both internally and externally.
In August 2023, Empower proudly announced the appointment of its new Chair, Baroness Sandip Verma, former Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls, to support the strategic development of our new campaign to tackle period poverty in the UK.
In 2022, a survey by WaterAid found that almost a quarter of people who menstruate in the UK struggled to afford period products in the past year, and 32 per cent worried they would not be able to afford them in the future. As the rising cost of living exacerbates this crisis, Empower is on a mission to cut period poverty through legislative change.
This year, Empower launched its campaign for the Government to follow Scotland’s progressive policymaking and fund free, sustainable period products across the rest of the UK. To kickstart the campaign, Empower hosted an online webinar, chaired by Habiba Katsha, Lifestyle Reporter at Huffington Post, with panellists including Baroness Sandip Verma, Kirsten Oswald MP and CEO of Bloody Good Period, Rachel Grocott.
Following the launch of the campaign, Empower issued an open letter to Kemi Badenoch MP, Minister for Women and Equalities, calling for the Government to consider period poverty within its Levelling Up agenda. The letter was signed by more than 50 thought leaders, including MPs and charity CEOs. Signees include Monica Lennon MSP, Daisy Cooper MP, John McDonnell MP, Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK and Jemima Olchawski, CEO of The Fawcett Society. You can read more about the open letter in The Huffington Post here.
To commemorate Menstrual Hygiene Day, also known as Global Period Day, Empower tabled an Early Day Motion that asks the Government to recognise the reality of period poverty in the UK and show real leadership by introducing free period products for all. The EDM has been signed by 37 MPs.
Empower is continually striving for a society in which free period products are as common a sight in public buildings as toilet rolls are today.
In 2019, Empower launched with a panel event held in Parliament and hosted by Jess Phillips MP, calling for online misogyny to be recognised as more than just harassment.
The campaign focused on the Government’s Online Harms White Paper, and was successful in calling for online misogyny to be recognised as a hate crime. Empower generated public awareness and political pressure following a series of open letters, thought leadership pieces and expert roundtables.
In January 2021, Empower hosted an expert roundtable on job sharing with leading voices in politics, employment and campaigning to initiate the conversation on how to create a more equal workplace post-Covid. Following the success of the event, Empower published the White Paper, Job Sharing: Redefining Work, Doubling Impact to set out how all sectors can realise the true potential of their employees, helping to create a more productive and inclusive workplace.
Featuring interviews with job sharers from the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, Lloyds Banking Group and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the report sets out clear recommendations, including a reduction in Employer’s National Insurance for two employees in a job share to reduce the cost barrier commonly faced by firms looking to introduce the practice. You can read more on Empower’s campaign in Stylist here.