Here I am now at 55, happily middle-aged and content. In the bit in between I have worked with male and female managers of all ages and can honestly say that I didn’t mind whether they were male or female. I cared whether they were fair or level headed. How I hated, hate still, seeing managers lose their tempers with staff or talk about staff behind their backs. Those traits are not gender specific in my experience. Male managers have been as likely to talk about other staff to colleagues as female.
It simply isn’t necessary or nice to lose your temper at all but certainly not in the workplace. My wise old dad always used to tell me that once you lose your temper you have lost your argument. He always said ‘use your temper, don’t lose it!’
For me it boils down to what’s inside the person. The old adage – don’t judge a book by its cover – is one I like a lot! Pink, blue, 50 shades of grey – the cover doesn’t matter a jot – it’s the content I care about.
The people I now look up to, who inspire me are people like Jane Tomlinson. Jane was a working mum who was diagnosed with cancer in her 30’s. Showing immense courage and determination she battled cancer for many years at the same time as becoming an incredible athlete. Running marathons, iron man challenges and cycling challenges that would make most of us pale with fear she took them on head first and did them all. By the time she lost her fight with cancer she had raised over £1m for cancer charities in the UK. A true role model for me and one to look up to.
I only have to think of other women like Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks to be astonished at their courage and determination to do better for their peers. This at a time when men dominated in the workplace and beyond.
In my own world I need look no further than the parents of young cancer patients to be inspired – to wonder how they manage. But manage they do.
My advice to women whether it’s for business or personal is to stay true to yourself. It might be a cliché but it’s a fact – this isn’t a dress rehearsal. Live your life to the full in as true and honest a fashion as possible. Believe in yourself. Love yourself.
As Maya Angelou says
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou