Women in business
Recently, some of the Attune ladies went to a conference on transformational leadership run by the Institute of Directors and Women in Business – and it was rather excellent. The speakers were inspiring, real women who talked freely about high level business issues in the same breath as balancing family issues. Sacha Romanovitch shared insights from the board of Grant Thornton, together with insights from the minds of her small children – and both were fascinating. The day was enhanced by the provision of a marketplace, granting entrepreneurs the chance to sell their fantastic products to a wholly enthusiastic group of women.
The day got me thinking about things I have learned since I started writing for Attune and interviewing inspiring women. Here are three things which have stood out for me:
- The women who have succeeded have not had a career master plan – they have simply been open to the opportunities around them. Dr Joanne Stuart told me that she had only planned one of her career moves; this week’s interview with Lynda Wookey discusses the same issue in the context of personality. My previously held notion that successful women have it all planned down to the last sentence of the last assignment of an MBA has been blown out of the water.
- Following on from the idea that careers aren’t planned, I have noticed that women who are truly inspiring are those who have been able to put their family and/or their charitable and philanthropic interests first – and be good at what they do for a career. This isn’t about having it all – these women have taken sideways steps, and have had to be creative about their career paths – but they have managed to do what they wanted to do on their terms.
- Women aren’t interested in the trappings that can sometimes accompany business success – a big Mercedes and the corner office is not necessarily their end goal. They are more interested in sharing their passion, supporting their friends and colleagues and inspiring the next generation.
These are just my personal observations – what do you think? Do you believe that women bring something different to the boardroom?