Stand Up And Be Counted

I want to see more women in parliament - do you?

Go to the profile of Mary Fenwick
Sep 23, 2014
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I am on a mission to see more women in public life. If you want to be part of this: 1. Read this research about how women have to prove themselves beyond competency - http://www.okimoto.com/research/genderbias.htm 2. Put on your own oxygen mask first. If you are not looking after yourself, you are not in a position to lead anyone else. Here's a checklist of how you might take care of yourself - http://rebelwomencafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/RWC-Self-Care-Quiz.pdf 3. Find yourself a role - as a school governor https://www.sgoss.org.uk/ - in a public role http://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ - as a charity trustee - http://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/governance/trustee-bank/vacancy-search?view=vacancies
Go to the profile of Mary Fenwick

Mary Fenwick

Embracing blue stockings, -

Committed to working with women in public life. I want to see more imperfect women in business, politics and the commentariat. And more wonderful men working with children and in home life.

12 Comments

Go to the profile of Suzy Greaves
Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

I found these figures really shocking.
Thanks for this video. x

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Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

Hi Mary - here's a question from the Psychologies team:
Many women are scared of taking their place at the top table because they will be trolled, attacked and vilified. How do we overcome our fear?

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Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

How do we create enough self belief to break through the glass ceiling?

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Mary Fenwick about 3 years ago

It's interesting that this is one of the first things that springs to mind. A woman said to me at a recent workshop - "it's such fun having this power as well, that's what people forget". We all know about the inbuilt negative bias in our brains - perhaps if more women in power talked openly about what fun it is, how it actually makes life easier when you have control over key decisions, and the rewards they have seen in being able to influence other people's lives for the better... maybe all that would spring to mind before the trolls. I have to say that personally, I have found it quite effective just simply not to read any below the line comments, or get a friend to read them for you and only pick out the ones that need a response.

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Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

Who do you think is a good powerful female role model?

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Mary Fenwick about 3 years ago

I'd usually suggest that the first step towards self-belief is to consciously reverse the focus, as I've said above. I had a supervisor on my coaching course who said that our brains have a tendency to attach to the negative like velcro, and let the positive slide away like teflon. She suggested a time each day to consciously pick out the good things and velcro them in our minds. So, let's look for the women in public life who are enjoying it, who look powerful but also like themselves, and consciously bring them to mind - Suzy, I have to say that you work as a great role model for this!

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Mary Fenwick about 3 years ago

Ah, your question crossed with my response. I picked you. At the moment I'm interested in African women models of leadership, that idea of matriarchal power, calm and authority that doesn't have to shout - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; the current Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, Graca Machel.

Go to the profile of Suzy Greaves
Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

Thank you, Mary. I love the idea of being powerful but HAVING LOTS OF FUN at the same time - of being imperfect, and liking ourselves. My best tip on being top dog is bring the dog to the office. Oscar, our office dog, knows how to win friends and influence people!

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Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

One last question from us...If there is one thing we could do differently to stand up and be counted - what would it be?

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Mary Fenwick about 3 years ago

Having fun, and seeing the slightly absurd is also a great way of overcoming fear. You can't feel scared when you're laughing.

Go to the profile of Suzy Greaves
Suzy Greaves about 3 years ago

And this is the kind of advice which confirms why you're our advice columnist! Thank you so much for your time today in our 15 minute masterclass. Right off to take Oscar for a walk.

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Mary Fenwick about 3 years ago

One thing we could do differently is to be informed - the fact that women are 51 per cent of the population, but only 20 per cent of the political decision makers means that it's not personal, it's nothing that you are doing wrong at the moment - and that idea can be quite liberating. The current situation is ridiculous, so any small difference you can make, (even just to make life marginally easier for a woman who is in power, by posting a supportive comment) is worth it.