Bloom North event takes on taboos

The latest ‘Let’s Talk About It’ event encourages people to get comfortable with the uncomfortable

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


To tackle taboos and encourage the industry to get comfortable with the uncomfortable Bloom North's latest ‘Let’s Talk About It’ event is set to take on some of the sensitive subject matters that affect women in their everyday lives.

The event is set to tackle the topics usually kept hush head-on in an attempt to normalise issues and let women know they aren’t alone in the struggles they face day to day in the workplace.

The upcoming event is set to take on three topics that will resonate with women; emotional and domestic abuse, a new NABS code of conduct and periods. A special fourth discussion topic is set to be decided via a poll on social media.

Breaking down barriers

The topic of emotional abuse and domestic violence will be addressed with a personal account from a speaker set to share the effects a past relationship had on her personal and professional life. By sharing the harrowing impact abuse can have and how to recognise signs of abuse in a relationship, the event aims to share how individuals can support themselves and others.

A representative from NABS will share the organisation's new framework around a code of conduct to tackle sexual harassment at industry events. The code has been informed by the lived, real experiences of people from across the industry and aims to share practical advice on how situations can be prevented or dealt with. The code aims to encouraging people to seek help or speak to NABS.

Francesca Coia, Digital Planning Account Director at Republic of Media, will speak on the topic of periods and share how her organisation has installed a period policy to support women in the workplace. While creating a menopause policy at work, Coia asked why not also have a period policy and worked to create one that provides both practical help and raises awareness.

“Part of it is about making ‘reasonable adjustments’ which are unique for every person. Ensuring they are not held back within their career in any way because they are experiencing period discomfort.” says Coia. “Part of it is about ending the taboo, making people comfortable talking about it, hosting training sessions educating people on symptoms, making sure people who don’t have periods understand what it is and why people might ask for a reasonable adjustment.”

The period policy led to Coia’s passion for ‘learning about equity rather than equality’. “I used to think they were interchangeable,” she says. “When talking about gender equality we need to talk about equity and make sure women have the right tools to enter the workplace.” While there is lots of great work done toward equal pay, the industry must also work toward providing tools and support to the women forced out of the industry due to other issues such as menopause, giving reasonable adjustments to aid equality. This is done by talking, listening and breaking down taboos.

While Coia says that the policy has been received ‘incredibly well’ she finds that still some don’t feel comfortable utilising the policy reinforcing the need to “constantly reiterate and train”. This is done by breaking down taboos with events such as ‘Let’s Talk About It’.

Building Bloom North

The event is part of Bloom North’s ongoing aim of building a collaborative, supportive and open network for the comms industry in the North. Aligning with the organisation's overarching pillars of challenging, empowering and community, the event encapsulates Bloom North President, Lisa Thompson’s goal to bring people in and engage in open conversations as well as give practical advice. “I’m really mindful in everything that we do that you’ve got to listen to other voices,” she says.

Creating conversation and making space for women to share stories can help others to realise they are not alone. By continuing to talk about the topics that might make us uncomfortable but are imperative to progress, the industry can work toward creating a more inclusive environment in which women can thrive.


‘Let's Talk About It’ takes place in Manchester on the 2nd of August. To find out more or attend the event please click here.

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Women industry