Original LinkedIn Post Published on March 8, 2016
Today is International Women’s Day and the internet is inundated with tributes to phenomenal women, articles highlighting invisible barriers women face in the workplace, and infographics demonstrating the economic importance of women in leadership roles. It is important that these messages are out there and that the conversation remains open all throughout the year.
So I thought long and hard about what type of post I should publish to mark the occasion. And following a women’s networking event at work today, I have decided to write about the importance of women role models in business.
Why do I believe they are important?
Well, because we still live in a world where the higher you go in organisations across multiples professions, the lower the number of women holding the most senior of leadership roles there are. So I see women leaders as role models because they demonstrate a sense of possibility. They possess the qualities that I too would like to emulate.
In my own experience, I never even understood who my actual role models were until I began to see my own personal progress and development. I can now see that they were my teachers, my part time job managers, and various women that I’ve crossed paths with along the way. I have since continued to build up my network with women who, without fail, willingly offer me guidance and support.
Today at lunch there was open conversation and many women who I would see as role models stated “but I never saw myself as one.” So, I guess being an influential person is not something you can choose, it is as a result of your success, hard work, and position. For any woman out there that is in a leadership role – please share your experience and learnings with those who are eager to learn and progress. Many people are of the opinion that only celebrities like Beyoncé can be role models for young women but it is the women leaders in the workplace, the women that you have access to that can really make all the difference.
I am very fortunate to have a number of women in my personal and professional life that push me every day towards breaking that glass ceiling. They empower me and motivate me to be always better. They are my role models. This post is dedicated to them.