The negative in the bed

I attended a conference a while ago and the speaker (I can’t remember who!) said something along the lines of how the person you share a bed with maybe the person in your life who is least confident of your chance of success. I get that. Don’t get me wrong I love my husband but he is very risk adverse. He sees the world with a glass half empty attitude.

For a long time I let his negative and “don’t try something in case you fail” attitude affect my behaviours. My attitude now is to prove him wrong.

As with most things in life you can usually take someones negative and make it your positive.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes it is an uphill battle. It takes determination and resolve to succeed when the person you share a bed with is your biggest critic. Instead of letting it drag me down I use it as the kick in the bum to get up and go.

 

Life List

I’ve decided that I need to make a list of things I want to do on a regular basis – soul food things. A bucket list is all good and well but I need a list to live by so here is my list at the moment:

  • See, participate and enjoy live music at least once a month
  • Eat a new taste/ cuisine at least once a month
  • Cook something new at least once a month
  • Get a massage at least once a month
  • Read one non fiction book per month
  • Read at least one fiction book per month
  • Try to have breakfast with Cranky Pants at least 4 mornings per week – this is present breakfast no tv, laptops etc
  • Make everyone sit down to a meal together at least twice per week – again being present
  • Find something to make me smile and laugh EVERY DAY!

This is my living list, I’m sure it will grow and change but it’s a starting point.

Bra Burning & Bloke Bashing

I’m a feminist, not exactly ground breaking news to those who know me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being feminine, I love pretty dresses and high heels (although at the moment I’m not allowed to wear them!). I have more handbags than most women. I shave my legs, at least when I think people might see them.  I also love empowering women to be strong and take leadership roles. I want to see more young women realize that being assertive is not a bad thing, that being bossy is a compliment not a derogatory label.

Even now, two  plus generations on from the bra burning feminist protests, we are still lagging well behind the fellows in our representation in leadership roles.  Of our top 200 ASX companies less than 5% have women CEOs and our parliaments are still woefully lacking in women members. Our current federal cabinet has one female, The Hon Julie Bishop, who is minister for foreign affairs and deputy leader of the Liberal Party.  Considering the current government ministry is 16% female and the sitting members are 22% female it is concerning that cabinet is only 5% female. As a paid up member of the liberal party this doesn’t bode well for my goal of becoming the first female treasurer!

This trend is repeated in my own community. Our local council has only two female councilors, 22%. The boards of our local hospital and private schools are similar. Our local community bank has only one female director – comprising 10% of the board! Yet according to the ABS the population of our shire is 50% female.

I wonder what the young women in our society see when they look around. What female role models can be found? I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of Julia Gillard’s politics but I was proud we had a female Prime Minister. I was also appalled at the treatment she received. I don’t recall seeing male leaders subject to the same innuendo and discussion of their sexuality. Why is it our society tries to dewomanise strong women?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think men are all bad and out to undermine women, we do that well enough on our own without their help! Nor do I think women should be appointed to roles just because of our gender.My concern is that there are capable and strong women within our communities that aren’t being given the support and opportunities to sit at the table.  Research has shown that organisations that have boards with a higher percentage of women perform better.

My aim in the next twelve moths is to work in my local community to help and inspire women to lean in and become leaders.  As the amazing Carol Schwartz, AM said at a CPA luncheon last week “you can’t be what you can’t see”. I intend to stand up and by seen as a leader in my community, but I won’t burn my bras as they are expensive to replace.

If you too are feeling inspired to lean in, have a read of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Also have a look at Lean In, Ban Bossy,  and our own Australian Businesswomens Network.