Even though it was a long time ago now, I still remember how I felt during that management meeting. I was the only woman in a roomful of men when one of my female colleagues (who wasn’t there) was openly criticised for “always banging on about not having enough senior women in our part of the organisation.”
I remember a wave of humiliation passing through my body, my heart thumping and face reddening as I sat there...in silence.
I felt powerless and invisible. I didn’t feel confident enough to speak up. I was afraid of being rejected, undermined or shut down. And yet deep down I knew I had a voice and a valid perspective to bring to the table.
I walked out of that meeting feeling sick. How did I just allow that to happen?! I realised that I was playing into a role that was making me feel inferior and unworthy.
I never wanted to sit in a meeting without being able to speak up about something that mattered to me again. I vowed to build relationships at work with other women where we could talk, listen and share our challenges with each other. So that we could support each other emotionally as well as in the strategy meetings!
Today in my work as a coach and business owner, I help women feel empowered to shine in their life and work. I love to collaborate for good with other women where we support and lift each other up...I believe it’s absolutely fundamental to my working happiness and my future success!
Happy International Womens Day everyone!