I was invited to speak at a women's conference recently curated by the wonderful Simone Roche. The conference was Northern Power Women to showcase some of the work women outside of London were doing. Initially I thought they had the wrong girls but I was excited to be part of the panel as it as a very interesting debate on gender balance in companies and what we as women could do to help ourselves.
I’m not a fan of the rhetoric that women do not progress in business because they lacked ambition or competency. Its not a concept that sits well with me as I’m surrounded by really talented hard working women who feel corned to give up their careers or just feel trapped because they are not progressing as fast as they thought they should.
Blaming women for the lack of gender balance in the work place and therefore trying to fix them is a lazy solution to an other wise complex situation. In my humble opinion and from personal experience as one of those women who chose to exit corporate, it's not the fault of women that they don't make it to senior management positions or boards in some companies. It's the failure of leadership (male or female) in these institutions that prevents them from getting up the "ladder"
Today the spotlight is again going to be on women. We’ll be vilified for not turning up to vote and being the cause for our own problems. The real reason behind the decline in women voters will not be investigated. The fact that none of the mainstream political parties as much to offer female voters may be overlooked.
- Why are women shunning the polls?
- Why are women choosing to leave corporate to start their own businesses in record numbers?
- Is it a failure of leadership or is it really all down to the decisions women make?
We need to get to the real reasons behind the issues and then – only then can we offer solutions that will work.
So today lets turn up in our numbers and be counted. Cast your vote. If all the 9 million women who didn’t vote during the last elections turned up to vote today, then surely we can choose politicians that are willing to put women on their agenda and create more opportunities for women in business and politics.
Congratulations to TV broadcaster Sandi Toksvig on the launch of her new political party “The Women’s Equality Party” that will focus on gender inequality. I’m personally excited to see how it develops.
Showing up to vote is a necessity. Lets start with that.