Women of achievement – Who are your role models?

Who are your role models?  March is the month of International Women. It’s global.

Mary RobinsonTo chose a role model close to home, Mary Robinson, late President of Ireland, UN high commissioner for human rights until 2002, recently published her memoir, Everybody  Matters. In London we celebrate with WOW –   Women of the World at the Southbank. WATC brings you all the news under IWD.

Patron of the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence, another role model, Baroness Scotland, first black woman to take silk, first black  woman Attorney General.

Two excellent women for starters, but in the UK alone let’s look at brave women. Marie Colvin has been a woman at the front line of war for some time.  Having lost an eye whilst reporting, she recently lost her life  when she was directly targeted in Syria.   Alex Crawford received her OBE, presented by the Queen,  for services in war reporting.   The woman helicopter pilot, Michelle Goodman was the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, for flying in under fire to rescue a wounded comrade who would’ve died within 15 minutes.

Which categories would you nominate for role models? 

  • Brave women;
  • Heads of state;
  • Women in the city
  • Women to look up to
  • Women for young women to have as role models?

Chose 3 women and email to this address [email protected], or tweet to  #womenofachievement. And one man. Anyone listening to Bill Gates, giving the Dimbleby lecture this week on the global eradication of polio, would be likely to make a comparison with some of the world leaders. Many are unhappy with his business practices, but as with all role models, you can just chose the bits you like. Interestingly, it is called the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it seems his interest in philanthropy arose around the time he met Melinda.

Finally a woman who always seems to get bad press, yet applauded in the Mail on Sunday this week, promoting mentors and mentioning her foundation. Do you recognise this woman?

“Back in the Seventies, when I was looking for my first job in the legal profession, it was hard to be taken seriously as a woman lawyer. It was commonplace for female candidates to be told ‘We don’t take women’ or ‘We’ve already got a woman’, comments that would be unthinkable – and unlawful today.  However, I was fortunate to get support from a senior barrister who agreed to accept me as an apprentice. and became my mentor.

Rather than sit back and wait for change to happen, women can make a difference by making changes themselves.

We can help each other up the ladder.  Women often complain about  a lack of opportunities and not being promoted – and there’s justice in many of those complaints – but we all need to help those lower down the ladder too.  If we want more talented women rising through the ranks, if we want to create a pipeline of talent to executive and board-level positions, that’s got to be part of the solution.

As mentoring becomes more widespread, it can help level the playing field. I wouldn’t have got as far in my legal career without mentors, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it. As former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: ‘There is a special place in hell for women who  don’t help other women.’ So let’s get a  bit more collaborative and start giving each other a helping hand.”

To read the full article:  http://tinyurl.com/apmxo9h

For more information on the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s mentoring programme, visit cherieblairfoundation.org.

Author Bio:

Woman on a Mission
Diversity and Leadership Consultant
Graduate Women of the Year Lunch
[email protected]

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