Blah, blah, blah....STOP IT! It is all in your head

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 20 Nov, 2017

Smash Your Ceiling to Smash That Ceiling

The International Women' Day pledge for 2017 was #BeBoldFor Change to create a more gender inclusive world, blah blah blah...... In 2016 it was # PledgeForParity to help women achieve their ambitions, blah blah blah........and 2018 will be #PressForProgress ,a call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. Blah blah blah...

"S TOP IT! It is all in your head"

Has anything actually changed?

We cannot deny that boardroom diversity is increasing although women still remain under-represented: if you are looking at top global companies  women in leadership represent  12% of total (depending on what research you are looking at).

Who does it better?

The highest percentages of women on boards can be found in the old continent with Norway ( 46.7% ), France ( 34.0% ), and Sweden ( 33.6% ) leading the way - source  Credit Suisse -  (in Europe equality between women and men was ingrained in the Treaty of Rome as one of the European Union's essential values over sixty years ago).

The percentage of women in FTSE 100 boardrooms rose to 26.1% in 2016  but the UK is still seventh across the main international stock markets.

According to recent research carried out at the BI Norwegian Business School by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen and Professor Lars Glasø , women are better suited at leadership than men based on 5 personality traits, which can be measured for effective leadership ( after surveying more than 2,900 managers to ascertain leadership personality traits).

Women scored higher in:

  • Initiative and clear communication;
  • Openness and ability to innovate;
  • Sociability and supportiveness; and
  • Methodical management and goal setting.

 So, if women possess most of the qualities necessary to be a leader, what is stopping them? What are the barriers?

Cultural, religious and family paradigms have and are playing a part; sexism, misogyny and patriarchy and attitudes exist many times intertwined with other social and political aspects and ways of thinking (and by patriarchy I mean a system of power relationship between men and women where both men and women are complicit, benefiting specific kinds of gender and sexual identities over others).

Of course for women wishing to have children, there are also added barriers...

What is a "woman's place" then?

What a "woman's place"  is or seen to be has changed dramatically throughout history; women had and lost power at different times ( insert the cultural, religious subtext here).

You know what? It is time to STOP IT! Stop giving power to external forces and let them control your life.

Smash that ceiling and I mean the ceiling in your head, the only thing that is truly stopping you to achieve what you really really want. Time to adopt airlines' guidance - put on your own oxygen mask first and  #SmashYourCeiling!.

This is blog is an extract from my book "S TOP IT! It is all in your head" Part I: Blah, Blah, Blah.  To see how the book was developed/written : " What is the best way to write a book in 30 days"

The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 16 Dec, 2017

Pre-Christmas shopping has now reached epic proportions; presumably most people missed the memo that the shops re-open in a few days  (even on Boxing Day, amazing non?) and there is no need to stockpile like we're just about to enter WW3.  

Giving presents is part of Christmas, but it is only a small part of it;  the pressure to buy things and "create a holiday" can be very stressful and is unrelated to what many consider the original reason for Christmas, to celebrate the birth of Christ. 
Even though Christmas may have now morphed into a secular holiday for many people,  I think it is important to remember , religious/observing or not, to enjoy it and spend the day with family, friends and/or loved ones. 

These times are precious and laughter and memories last a lifetime much more than the latest gadget or "in" thing, don't waste them. Share the love.


By The Alchemist About Town 11 Dec, 2017

In every story, every hero is helped through his/her journey when meeting a mentor and then allies along the way.

"Emerging leaders need a mentor to guide them, but they also need a network of peers , to reassure them that they are not on the path alone” Alyse Nelson , President and CEO of Viva Voices.

The percentage of women on board is increasing both on a voluntary basis and/or with mandatory boards targets but there is still a lack of visible female leadership models, women to inspire and empower women. Women are every good at sharing a lot of things but having a good mentor does not often seem to be one.

I had in my life women I looked up to them as examples, beacons of what is possible to achieve if you are really determined;  not perfect women by any means, but I am who I am today because of them:

Coco Chanel: a Business Woman ahead of her time ,
Anna Wintour: a fashion pioneer ,
Jackie Kennedy: quiet leadership ,
Margaret Thatcher: love or hate her , you cannot forget her
In a world full of Kim Kardshians, Be an Audrey
Josephine Baker: did the Banana skirt start it all?

I'm passionate about inspiring/empowering/helping women in making the most of their circumstances with the tools they have available and grabbing the opportunities that life presents - without using excuses of why they can't and I wanted to find and  provide some virtual mentors/ allies/ role models to show you their “call to adventure’, their crossing of thresholds together with perhaps tests, allies and maybe enemies.

I have interviewed many women in leadership roles, CEOs,MDs and/or Founder/s of their owns very successful company for my book: you might have read some of them already ( Natasha Makhijani , Rachel Dipper , Jackie Smithen , Emmajane Taylor-Moran , Karen Green , Liz Ward , Ela Slutski & Galit Bauer ). Each of them had a different journey but they all had something in common - self belief and pursuing their goal no matter what.

What is your journey? Do you have a mentor?
The Women in Leadership interviews ( contained in my book STOP IT! It is all in your head ) are my gift to you - THE HERO JOURNEY of some real models and perhaps some virtual role model for women out there on their way to the top.

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want, and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results”
Tony Robbins.

" Believe in Yourself, You Can - Define your legacy".

This is blog is an extract from my book
"S TOP IT! It is all in your head"   Part IV: The Hero Journey .
Click here to Read:
Part III:
Think Outside The Box: What Box? 
Part II: Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want .
Part I: Blah, Blah, Blah .
To see how the book was developed/written : " What is the best way to write a book in 30 days"
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