8 March is International Women’s Day. As a woman in business, it is a day for me to think about all my fantastic female mentors; the other women in business around me; how women have progressed even across my working lifetime never mind over the last 150 years and how much there is still to do.
Now, this does not ‘take away’ from men or men’s rights. Far from it. Men can be supporters of women’s endeavours too – I know because I married one and have raised two more and I have lots of male friends around me who, whilst being cheeky devils at times, would not consider a woman to be ‘less worthy’.
I am a feminist- and I say that at a time when the word has become muddied. What I mean when I say I am a feminist is that all should have equal opportunities. I do not mean that everyone is the same. Every person is not the same as the next. What I mean is that opportunity should not be dictated by being a man or a woman or any other expression of self that a person chooses.
It also does not mean that I think men should be treated as ‘less worthy’ either. I cringe when I see those daft TV adverts about a ‘poor man’ being shown by his wife/girlfriend how to clean the loo or do the dishes ‘right’. It grinds my gears as much as the Lego pink Friends range does. I like colourful things as much as the next person but come on, did we need pink Lego sets when the others were just as good? And please, do not get me started on the extra cost of pink razors, ‘ladies’ shaving foam and pink Bic pens.
Since starting my own firm, I have had the benefit and support of some really wonderful women, giving advice, words of wisdom and just being there for a chat. It is the power of supporting each other that I want to see women harness. That doesn’t mean not supporting men. It means making sure we are supporting each other where, perhaps, in the past, that has not happened. I would like to say thank you to all of the women who have supported me – you know who you are. And no, that does not mean I am not saying thank you to all of the men who have supported me. I’m saving that for International Men’s Day.
What? It’s 19 November 2021.