That drives a point home! My daughter and I were discussing her career, especially which A-levels she wants to take and where (even though she only starts studying for her GSCEs next year). It all stems down to how much of a career she is willing to work towards, and how much of a difference she can make.
That’s her crux, how much of a difference can she make. She said she wants to be remembered for having done something memorable, preferably something good that makes a difference. She likes discussing things (and argue with her teachers, especially those that are inferior to her intellect) and putting her point across. She often takes sides in discussions in class, defending her point of view and usually winning.
I asked her what she wanted to do. Unlike most 14 year-olds, she already knew what she really wanted. I could see it bubbling to the surface when she slyly asked me how do you become a Member of Parliament. I answered her as best as I could, but I knew that wasn’t it. What was her true goal?
Then the female element came out; something that was so prominently brought to the fore within this excellent video this comment is connected to. The idea for even thinking such a thing! She looked at me out of the corner of her eye and her voice raised itself at the end as if asking an apologetic question: “Prime Minister?”
“But…” she continued rapidly, “what happens if I get married and have kids? Will you look after them for me? Will anybody take me seriously?” Why do we doubt ourselves even before we start? My answer was to point her towards her grandmother and my father’s cousin who both performed in the political world, each individually succeeding even in adversity. My mother had four kids and a family to look after, yet still became a thorn in the side of the local Council, and my father’s cousin was childless but did have a devoted husband that helped her career that ultimately succeeded in her peerage.
There – you now see why I wasn’t shocked when my daughter chose the top job in government. Why ever not? – she has all the qualities, and more, let’s hope she won’t give up on her dream before she gets there.
Inspiring TED talk. Some sound advice too, I particularly liked the ‘don’t leave before you leave’ line. I do believe that it is important to ‘keep your foot on the gas’ particularly if women wish be be seriously considered for stretching and challenging projects to help them grow, develop and climb the career ladder. Also for women going off on maternity leave, this helps them to get back up to speed on the work front much quicker on their return.