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Women in Leadership: The two days which celebrate women

Rhian Morgan

There has been so much to write about recently but so few blogs to cover them in. However, Rhian Morgan concentrates on the two main events of the past fortnight: International Women’s Day, and Mothers’ Day

If you see a mad-looking woman with dark roots rushing around the streets pushing a stroller with one hand, the other pulling up her cheap tights, half singing a song about twirlywoos, half muttering and gurgling, say hi to me.

For all women, including professional women, there is a total lack of appreciation for how exhausting being a mum is – and how under-appreciated they are (and forget being appreciated by your little one. Mine made a card at playgroup, ostensibly for Mother’s Day, but told me she was giving it to daddy instead. She also informed me she had eaten all the chocolates that had accompanied said card.)

I’ve become addicted to caffeine and chocolate since having my daughter, while other mums have said they relied on alcohol to get them through the evenings.

My friend, an Oxford grad, dashes to take her first child to school. Then she straps her other daughter to the back of her bike and cycles to pre-school. Then she’s back on her bike, riding to the station, to get the train to work. Then she does the whole thing again in the afternoon, in reverse, and then rushes them to various groups, such as ballet, or meets the teachers for parents’ evening. She then prepares their meals, tidies the house, and goes for a run. She truly is superwoman. I asked her yesterday whether she feels constantly exhausted. “No,” she replied, “that was in the earlier days, when they didn’t sleep through the night. Now I’m merely tired all the time, which I can cope with.”

Trying to look professional when you’re a mum can be a chore in itself. You have to remember to go to the hairdressers’, to forget having a sense of embarrassment when you go to work with food on your clothes that you hadn’t noticed your toddler smearing on you, and a surprisingly common problem (do a quick poll among your friends) of not noticing that the money you now save for your kids by sacrificing luxuries such as your Woolford tights are actually a false economy, as you end up binning the Tesco version after you’ve ended the day waddling home from work like a chicken, after the elastic has gone and your gusset is round your knees.

In fact, this problem is so commonplace that a few very funny writers have written a blog about it: My Tights Won’t Stay Up. Their Week In Sexist News is particularly amusing, so be sure to check it out. It’s best read over a gallon of tea, a whole discount Easter egg, while curled up on a comfy chair/bed/chaise longue. (see http://mytightswontstayup.com/category/the-week-in-sexist-news). However, that’s if you can find the time to do that .

Which doesn’t lead us smoothly intoInternational Women’s Day (IWD). This year’s theme is Make It Happen, which we all have the power to do. For inspiration, there is a wealth of great articles out there to catch up on. A site we particularly love is the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) site, which features conferences on by global movers and shakers, and has lots of great feminist discussions, and includes many cultural topics. Speakers include Jane Goodall, the Clintons, and Nobel Prize winners. Visit ted.com to peruse the site (and don’t just Google Ted as you may instead end up reading articles about a sweary teddy bear instead. Which you might prefer. The choice is yours). To start you off, here’s a link to four great talks for IWD: http://blog.ted.com/4_great_talks_f/

A great article I read recently came from the pen of talented journalist Lucy Mangan, who wrote about why we should care about celebrating IWD for the Stylist (www.stylist.co.uk). In Women Take More Than Enough Sh*t, she tells us to ignore the chuntering anti-feminist comments and instead look at the reasons why we still need an International Women’s Day.

I’m only featuring two days that are centred on women. For more, look at my past blogs. Or feel inspired to Make It Happen by checking out some great quotes.

I’ll let these women have the last words:

“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” Hilary Clinton

“Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book.” Malala Yousafzai

“Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes clean to the bone.” Dorothy Parker

“The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant.” Jane Sellman

“A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.” Unknown but hey, I’ll claim a woman said it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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