With International Womens day around the corner, I started thinking how women’s careers have changed since IWD started back in 1910 with a Socialist and Communist party in New York, before being taken up by the United Nations back in 1975 – 45 years ago!
What I have seen in my time is more and more women taking new brave steps out of the norm and creating whole new careers for themselves, no matter what age or stage. Pru Leith is still starting new businesses in her 80s! They are not only changing careers but they are starting new businesses. An increase in female founder business albeit still at a rate of 1:2 behind men.
A curious being like myself wants to understand why? Is the modern workplace not suited to the modern needs of women any longer? Have we been forced to take back control and create a new working pattern via our own businesses? Or have we felt more empowered to be and do what we want?
With the days of the ‘job for life’ seeming to be fading fast, are we now needing to look for a new pasture quicker than ever before. According to a report published by Dell Technologies, authored by the Institute For Future (IFTF), 85% of future jobs are not even invented yet! I find that staggering, if not a little unbelievable (am I in denial?!)
Working over the past 20 years, I have seen, been and loved some amazing woman who even with the above movement forward to women, still hold themselves back. The fear of stepping into their success and breaking the norm.
I can see why. Fears of what other might think, or even worse the fear of failing is so large that we stay safe. But it could also be that we don’t know what success really means to us? We know what success SHOULD be, but where did that come from? Other’s expectations, the need to please…? I am sure the list could go on.
Instead of spending time looking around and comparing your ‘success’ to others, take time out and figure out what success means to you.
We have different labels we attach to ourselves and I have found it useful to write mine down – 1. Mother 2. Wife 3. Daughter 4. Sister and Aunt 5. Friend 6. Leader and I would add in how we care for ourselves too.
By breaking them down, I can see success means different things under different labels. While for my kids, I can’t control their school results or what they enjoy to do (which is hard to let go of!), I can do my best to be the kind of mother who listens, who gives advice only when asked and who lets them be them, no matter what. That would be success, and a stretch! The main thing when writing your labels and your idea of success make sure it is within your control. What does success feel like to you – what are you like in these roles? Remember, this is what success means for you only.
Leader was the harder one for me – I have so many ideas of what this should be but how many are really mine? More time is needed on this one in 2020.
And, it is with a heavy heart that I share with you that this is my final column for HOOD for now. The professional success of writing a column for over a year has been great, and your feedback has been amazing. Thank you. The personal success which I did not see coming was that I have come to know myself more each time I have written. I’ve come to know the fear of putting yourself ‘out’ there and realising that you can brave it. I’ve come to know that no everyone will agree with you, and that is ok too.
The highlight however has been that I’ve made amazing connections, and I am so grateful for that. A huge thanks to the girls at HOOD, being part of your girl gang has been awesome.
My final wish for us all this IWD, and for every other IWD, is that we all understand and celebrate our own personal success. I know I have spent the past 20 years chasing success that is more of a society norm than my own.
So rather than goodbye, I wish to say until next time to the lovely HOOD readers and our girl gang– it’s been a hoot. Thank you for reading and here is to us all finding our own success and enjoying in in the roaring 20’s.
Over and out.