It's International Women’s day 2019 and we have a female Prime minister. We should feel proud but we end up disappointed and frustrated, again! Why? Because May is more focused on fighting for her own female power that raising up other women. How can expect men to support equality when we can’t even support ourselves.
Let’s set the scene, its 8th March, a press conference in Grimsby and the room is packed full of workers and press. Theresa May gets to choose from an array of journalists to take questions. 6 are male, and just 1 female is invited to speak. May is publicly challenged on this and her response is “they were answered by a female Prime-minister”. She is applauded. Her response is understandable, but wrong. The audience’s applause in understandable, but wrong.
The struggle to achieve and maintain a leadership role as a female is brutal. Just look at the abuse May - or “stupid woman” as Jeremy Corbyn likes to addresses her - has had to handle. As much as I like to try and convince myself that we have made progress, the reality is that every woman trying to create a level playing field is constantly fighting discrimination. We feel proud of those ladies mighty enough to brave that battle and emerge victorious and praise them as great role models. But sadly this is not enough. In fact, holding a reception at Number 10 that morning for women isn’t enough either.
If we are going to make serious progress any women in a leadership role must understand that just being a role model is not enough, they have a vast responsibility. In fact, it is responsibility that every single one of us ladies has to take on-board. That is the responsibility to purposely and visibly raise up other women at every opportunity.
I get it, the fight to get girl power makes us hugely protective of our position. Therefore, often subconsciously, we see many lady leaders in a protection mode. So busy maintaining what they have achieved that they don’t look up and realise they MUST bring other women up to join them.
I believe the biggest strides forward for equality will not come from shifting the mindsets of men, but from shifting the mindsets of women. Only when every single one of us girls consciously invests in consistently raising up other women will we achieve lasting and true progress.
Next year I would love to see the theme of International Women's Day being “#WomenRaisingWomen”. In the mean time I urge every woman out there, don’t wait a year, start today. Every day shine a light on, support and raise up just one other woman a day. Collectively we can become the force to drive lasting change.
CALL TO ACTION! If you want to see more #womenraisingwomen start today - share, tag, post this article with the hashtag and tell us the story of an amazing woman you know.