Reflections on the past six years



As The Equality Institute (EQI) celebrates its six-year anniversary, and shares its Five-Year Organisational Vision & Strategy, it feels important to look back at the journey getting here.


We've taken time and space to reflect on the past six years and celebrate the milestones that we, as a team, have achieved.

In doing so, we've passed the mic to our staff so they can share their EQI stories in their own unique ways. Let's take a look at their reflections.


Over 10 years ago, I wrote this little note in my journal. It was scrawled in messy pencil, impermanent, and I never showed it to anyone. A few simple words, nothing profound, but those words reflected a dream bigger than I let myself acknowledge at the time. And then I forgot about that note, and that little dream, and went on to work for the United Nations and other organisations around the world.

Now, I am moving house and found this as I sorted through my journals. Inside the book was this painting I had done of some trees all those years ago. And by some miracle, these words have become a reality. And in our Strategic Plan, The Equality Institute is represented by a tree.

At times like this, all one can do is give deep, heartfelt thanks. There are no other words.

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

Work 16/4/2010: My own boss. An organisation that makes a difference in people's lives and society as a whole. Women's rights/VAW/leadership. Great, passionate staff. Vibrant, fun work environment. Financially-secure. Creative and intellectually stimulating. Well-respected, rewarded. Growth and expansion.
A painting of trees in yellow and orange by Emma.


On the 6th anniversary of the EQI there are too many points for reflection and milestones achieved, so I’ll just reflect on what the EQI means to me.

Working at the EQI is one of the great privileges of my life. Coming to work there was serendipity like I’d never known.

When I saw the Research Associate role advertised in 2017, I couldn’t believe such work existed and there was nothing more important to me than getting that role. When I went for my first interview but was unsuccessful, the feedback was that I was shortlisted, and I should apply again next time. ‘Oh’, I thought, “I will’. I’m nothing if not stubborn. When the role came up again in 2018, my life was considerably different. I was burnt out from overworking in the university sector and my Mum had passed away. I was going to Europe, to see where life might take me next. I had a one-way ticket. I interviewed for the role a second time, two days before getting on the plane. I told my now manager, “If I’m right for the role, I will simply, come back.”

Three weeks later, while working as a comedy producer in Edinburgh, I received a phone call at 6am, telling me I was successful and would be the EQI’s newest Research Associate. I can’t describe how happy and excited I felt. So, for illustrative purposes, one of the pictures below, is me sharing the news with dear friends, and feminist cabaret powerhouses, The Fringe Wives Club. See the pure joy and shared feminist camaraderie? 😄

The happiness and excitement have continued for 3 years and counting. The opportunities I’ve been given are beyond my wildest dreams. I am challenged in ways that make me better. My colleagues are my mentors and friends, and I pinch myself every day that I get to learn from the best in the business. How did I get so lucky? The work and culture are things we can be proud of. We’ve worked hard to make the EQI a joyful, supportive, and purposeful workplace. We’ve achieved in six short years, more than most organisations ever will. I look forward to seeing what the next six years – and beyond – bring our way.

With love and feminist mischief,


A photo of Sarah laughing with the Fringe Wives, all dressed up in their theatre costumes.
A photo collage of Sarah with flowers at her desk, a calendar date marked 'Sarah H starts!', a group photo of EQI staff out to dinner, a photo of Sarah looking after an EQI merchandise stall at a conference, and the definition of 'serendipity': (noun) finding something good without looking for it.


Here are two pieces I’ve made which I guess you could say are inspired by my time at EQI:
8 Robbs Parade - Inspired by the previous EQI office.
South Tarawa, Kiribati - Inspired by Xian and I working with our wonderful local partners in Kiribati to pull off an incredibly challenging piece of data collection for PVAW.

A piece of hand-embroidery work depicting the old EQI office on Robbs Parade. It's got beautiful linework of the front of a building, with a door, window and a couple of plants along the front.
8 Robbs Parade (2017-2020)
A piece of hand-embroidery depicting a beautiful beach scene from Kiribati. There are clouds in the blue sky and the ocean looks small and big at the same time. There are two small children in the foreground staring up at the sky.
South Tarawa, Kiribati (2019)


I’m one of the OG’s – besides Emma, I’ve been with EQI the longest.

And what has been truly memorable over these past six years is not only being given the opportunity to work on so many impactful and important projects all over the world, but doing it all alongside such incredible people.

From the original crew, who built EQI with hard work, passion, joy and excitement – Sarah G, Sarah M, Nishi, Marta, Kate, and of course, our founder and director, Emma. These women are nothing short of spectacular. We managed to work on meaningful projects, learn and accomplish so much, and built EQI from the ground up, whilst having so much fun together.

And now, we have so many different faces at EQI. And yet each person I work alongside has carved out their own unique footprint within this organisation. We may not work together in-person anymore, and instead sit at home and connect where we can online, but I can still feel the passion, joy and dedication radiating from our team members. The most impactful aspect of working at EQI is still, and will always be, the people.

Without you all, without our team working together with respect and compassion and joy for one another, we would be nothing. So I take this opportunity of reflecting on the past six years to thank every single person I have worked alongside at EQI for making it the most wonderful organisation to be a part of. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Here’s to the next six years!

With love, Scarlett

A collage of photographs of EQI staff in Brazil, South Africa and on safari. Everyone is happy.


'Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much' - Helen Keller

A photograph of the EQI staff outside, some sitting down, some standing up, everyone looking happy.


A photo collage of Xian with colleagues, partners and people she's worked with across the Pacific.