I wish you a very happy International Women’s Day. Today is that day. There is a hope in the air, a sense of achievement, of possibility.
I spent this morning in the House of Commons with around 30 babies and 50 adults at the launch of LeadersPlus. It was an inspiring way to start the day hearing about the challenges of juggling being a present parent and having a successful career. It was heartening to hear a discussion around what I have recently been coming to terms with; why should women have to do everything? It’s commendable that we are told we are now in a place where we can ‘do it all’; but why should we have to? Go and read ‘You Should Have Asked‘ for a brilliant piece which describes the burden brilliantly. Poppy Jarman OBE gave the sage wisdom that we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Whilst it might seem like ‘she’ has it totally together from the outside, while ‘we’ have still got yesterday’s eyeliner creasing the bags under our eyes from a night spent awake with the children, who knows what’s really going on on the inside. As for Tulip Saddiq; just amazing. She is challenging the status quo at parliament. It was heartening to hear her explain how one of the people helping her to change the culture is the current speaker, John Bercow.
Back at the office, my husband had very thoughtfully sent me on a newsletter that the Diversity Inclusion Leads from his place of work had pulled together in honour of IWD. He knew I’d like that. As a result, I’ve just had a great conversation with a colleague of his, a woman leader, around the possibility of doing some work together across our two different sectors. We may work in different areas, but we face very similar challenges. She quite rightly pointed out that IWD shouldn’t be the only day that conversations like this take place.
She is right, of course, but it’s such a great day to start having those conversations…
We should point out where people are making in roads on inclusion. We should link in with each other where we are striving for the same aims. We should celebrate other women and sponsor for each other. At the London Leadership Academy, we’ve just launched our #NHS70 Women Leaders campaign. Are you inspired by a women leader in the NHS in London? Are you working with one who supports and encourages others? Who innovates and leads with compassion to make things happen? Nominate her here, and then forward the link to others who might want to get involved.
Right, I’m off to the Guardian IWD event now. I am LOVING today!
Happy International Women’s Day. You. Are. Brilliant. Go, be amazing.