Isn’t it amazing how much you learn from kids every day.
Imagine you have a son, and one night you come home from work after your son has just finished a play date with a little girl from school and you ask him, ‘How did your playdate go?’ He says, ‘Good mum….Mum, can girls be the captain of a ship?’. Surprised by the question you answer, ‘yes, girls can be the captain of a ship.’
He looks at you suspiciously and says, ‘Are you SURE mum’.. ( by this stage you’re getting a little annoyed (on behalf of the whole female race) and you answer ‘yes OF COURSE girls can be the captain of a ship. Why? Did you and your friend BOTH want to be captains?’ and he says, ‘Yeah, but mum are you REALLY sure because there are no pictures of girls being captains of ships. BOOM! Wow! Your brain explodes and you wonder in that instance how your 7 year old son in this day and age can be questioning whether a girl can do anything! Because we can do anything we want right??!!
You catch yourself and let the mum (rather than the strong female professional leader) in you kick in first. ‘That’s a very good point. And the reason why you only see pictures of boys being captains of ships is because the books were all written a long time ago, and in the ‘old days’ a lot of people did think that only boys could be the captain of a ship. Today we know that both boys AND girls can be captains of ships. In fact, what we know now is that when we have both boys and girls being the captains of ships we get the best sail out to sea. Your son says, ‘Oh, ok mum’. (and that is that). 🙂
You then continue the conversation with your husband who was in the kitchen the whole time and hadn’t heard anything. ‘Did you just hear that?’ Our son who is 7 and has had a mum working in a leadership position since he was 6 months old has just asked me whether girls can be the captain of a ship! Isn’t that unbelievable?? You know what this means? It means that if our kids don’t physically see females in leadership positions then they’re going to be having the same conversations we are now in 20 – 30 years time!
Soooo what do you want to do? Do you want to change the world or not? If you do then you need to be seen and heard and be able to stand up and have a voice no matter what the circumstance. Don’t miss the opportunities you may be given to step up because you are not confident or effective in the way you communicate when given the spotlight. Many of the worlds most influential and successful people are not necessarily any smarter than anyone else. They have the ability to communicate their ideas persuasively, succinctly and powerfully. They have the ability to inspire others to follow them even when they can’t see the end result. What would your world look like if you too had that skill?
Let’s ensure the next generation is not having the same conversations as we are and that by the time my son is in the workforce there is no need for gender equality talks because that is just the norm. Wouldn’t that be wonderful.
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