Last year we featured a selection of inspiring women and the quotes that inspire them. It was an uplifting campaign and I love looking back at the Instagram page with all of these wonderful women and often hilarious quotes.
The reality of leadership is very different and can’t be distilled into a single quote however. This year we’ve delved into “lessons learnt” to mark these women’s progress one year on. Everyone struggled with this exercise because, to quote one particular lady – there are “so bloody many” [lessons]. To learn rapidly is a mark of incredible progress and an exciting indicator of where these women are heading to.
Whenever I attend a female led or dominated event, I’m struck at how wonderful women are at lifting and helping each other. There is often a deep level of authenticity, and less “everything is amazing and we are killing it”. Sharing lessons and stories of growth is part of this collaborative spirit which, I for one value and cherish in my female friends.
2018 was a seismic year of change for the gender movement. In America more than 100 women were voted to the house of representatives, the “Times Up” movement gathered enormous legal pace with the conviction of Bill Cosby, and an all-women team won the Saudi Arabia hackathon.
Yet global leaders are still overwhelmingly men. “if current rates were to be maintained in the future, the overall global gender gap will close in 61 years in Western Europe” – World Economic Forum 2018
The women we’re featuring this month aren’t waiting 61 years for this change to happen and neither am I. I love that we have an opportunity to accelerate this change by learning and developing from each other. So one year on is certainly messier, but it’s no less inspiring and thankfully it’s still very instagrammable!
Let’s get on to the lessons, starting with yours truly.
Romanie Thomas – Founder & CEO of Juggle Jobs
Juggle is a platform helping experienced professionals to work flexibly. Their mission is to help ensure 50% of business leaders are female by 2027.
2018 lesson: “Keep buggering on”
Why? This was a quote from Winston Churchill and in fact, one of our leaders, Sophie Eden pointed to it as her quote to lead by last year. 2018 was a bit mad. Raising an investment round, dealing with family health issues, managing staff change – it was “the best and worst of times”. I’ve now realised my resilience is much deeper than I originally thought and there really is no substitute for just “buggering on”.
International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been held annually worldwide on March 8th across the globe for over a century. IWD is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. It ignited in 1909 in honour of women protesting against working conditions in New York City; it was first officially celebrated in 1911 as part of rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland to build support for women’s suffrage, vocational training, and ending discrimination on the job; and it has even been observed in protest of war. Russian women first observed IWD on the last Sunday of February 1913 to campaign for peace prior to World War I, and it captured Europe’s attention, activating participants wishing to express women’s solidarity and an international desire for peace just a few months before the war began.