This morning I attended an event that celebrated women for International Women’s Day ran by Qatar Professional Women’s Network. I very nearly didn’t go, citing a million and one reasons why I didn’t have time. The school run. I needed breakfast. It was too far away. I had some work to be getting on with. I was feeling shy and nervous.
Nonetheless I put my big girl pants on and off I trotted down to the InterContinental where I stocked up on hash browns and coffee then settled down to watch the presentation.
And I am so glad that I did – it was inspiring, uplifting and empowering. The women that were showcased were at the top of their professional fields, I’m talking the upper elite. Strong and empowered women who believe in empowering other women. The likes of Indra Nooyi, Mart Barra and Isabelle Kocher. All CEO’s. All women. And all of them passing on the same message of empowerment and support. I could have left that room thinking I could do anything I set my mind too. And I did.
Of course there is a but, my mind was screaming what about those of us who aren’t CEO’s? Who aren’t at the perceived top of our professional game? Those of us who choose to stay at a level where we are content rather than pushing for the stars? How about those of us that work in, what’s considered, a non-professional field?
Heck what about those of us who are no longer in a recognised profession? The stay at home mums among us. The carers. Those who do not work? How about those “expat wives“?
Does this mean that we are not strong and inspirational women? In a way does that mean that International Women’s Day is not for us? That it is reserved for only those who are streets ahead in their professional field?
No. Of course not.
As I sat listening about these women, their successes, the power they exude and feeling inspired I realised something.
It isn’t about reaching the top per se, it is about having the choice to be able to get to the top. It’s about striving to be the best YOU you can be, in whatever you choose.
That happiness and fulfilment with your choices is as important, if not more so, than what other people perceive you as.
That it is important to acknowledge YOUR strengths and weaknesses, as well as others that surround you. To be able to give, and receive, constructive criticsm. More importantly to be able to accept compliments.
It is recognising the importance of empowering others. That in empowering others you are, in fact, empowering yourself.
That by doing this you are shaping the future; the future minds, leaders and thinkers of tomorrow. You are changing the future for the better for our children.
Be you the CEO of PepsiCo, the mum on the school run, the doctor in the waiting room, the waitress in the cafe, it doesn’t matter. In us all we have the ability to empower and lift up women around us. And that is what is important.
Whatever you are doesn’t matter, WHO you are is.
Be the one that builds up others, empowers and inspires. Lead through example by being the best you can be. And most of all be happy.
For one thing I realised as I looked around the room at all these women is that when we stand together, when we be the best that we can be, it is reflected in those around us.
And that is why I walked out of that room empowered, inspired and uplifted.
Happy International Women’s Day 2018.