Being collaborative is often cited as something that women are better at than men. Now before I elaborate on this point I would like to start with the caveat that there are more differences among men and among women than there are between the genders. I think it's important to make that case up front and to make sure that any discussion on gender differences does not resort to general stereotyping.
Many years ago I was given a tip from a fellow entrepreneur. He said one of the best ways to combat stress and feelings of isolation as a business owner is to find someone who needs your help and support, and offer it out to them. Good old fashioned mentoring!
A former boss of mine had a habit of saying 'women can't tell jokes and women can't do creative'. He was referring to creating advertising ideas, when he said this but he could have meant anything creative, even cooking. Actually, he was including cooking: 'all of the best chefs in the world are men' he would also remind us.
One of the most challenging things about parenthood is learning to accept change. Accepting the fact once the baby cyclone dust settles, nothing looks like it did before. Not your body, not your relationship, not your friendships. Or your work.
I cannot actually remember where this particular bit of advice began and believe it to be deep rooted in my childhood somewhere. It is very simple - 'improvise your way through life'. I remember my late father saying things like 'You hum it and I'll sing it' when I came to him with a challenge. This was his way of reiterating the art of improvisation and no task was ever too large.
When I stereotype the American startup founders I've met in London, I notice the gene that they seem to share with Penny - that American go-getter "shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" mindset. (Somewhere, my British friends are rolling their eyes at that cheesy quote.) Americans don't seem scared of their own idealism, whereas in British culture, I find brazen optimism often equated with stupidity.
You are almost certainly well-educated, quite possibly with a university degree that has equipped you with an excellent foundation of knowledge and skills - theoretically that's a pretty good starting point
We are not near dealing with unconscious bias, let alone welcoming anything historic. Until we level the playing field with temporary quotas women making it to boards is still going to make the news. We need it to pass almost unnoticed for the job to be done.
For many women a career is just as important as family life. It is personal choice and how we achieve that balance is down to each individual. It absolutely isn't about spending equal amounts of time. How much time we dedicate to each part of our life for us to be happy, is very much down to personal choice.
Huge progress has been made in recent years to address the gender disparity in the construction sector, admittedly from an extremely low starting point - but with just 8.5% of UK engineers women, much more needs to be done quickly to not only address the gender gap but to avert a skills shortage in the UK construction and engineering industry.
That it made headlines when Murray was quoted as simply 'considering' a female coach is indicative of the widely held perception (not just in tennis) that women are in some way unqualified to coach men. Men, and male-dominated governing bodies, perceive coaching to be a man's world, a man's role, in the same way that men in board rooms purportedly tend to appoint men, because they fulfil a preconceived notion of what 'power' and 'leadership' look like. By appointing Mauresmo, Murray has certainly gone some way to dispel what is nothing more than a misconception.
Starting with our own experience, we have taken meaningful steps at InterQuest, appointing three female directors to our operational management team in the last 2-years. Gender equality is at the forefront of what we do, and though we have yet to appoint a woman to our public company board of directors, the task of representation is certainly a challenge we are consciously addressing.
I've been talking for some time about the changing world of work, and how traditional working life patterns of employment and doing business are increasingly less relevant in today's workplace. A combination of economics, technology and changing attitudes is forcing change upon us, like it or not.
Watching your parents do their own thing not only forces you to face and tackle boredom, it inspires you to perhaps try out for yourself what's interesting them so much. We've no heroes these days, really, apart from ready-made 'reality' stars, catapulted into fame with no hard work behind them. What on Earth are we teaching our little ones?
Journalists tend to spend their days scrutinising other people's business. Science writers are no exception, asking questions like whether scientists are conducting themselves and their research ethically or wondering how science should adapt to an increasingly digital world. Tomorrow, we turn this spotlight on ourselves and our professional community.
Supposedly manufacturing-free regions of the UK seem to actually have rather a lot of people making things. I know it's frustrating for the headline writers who would rather it wasn't the case, but the North West employing 340,000 people and making £20billion of goods in 2013 just doesn't follow the narrative does it? And what are 125,000 Geordies doing making £6.4 billion of stuff? I thought the paper said they were all strolling around the Quays pissed up and half naked in all weathers. British manufacturing is alive, it's well, it's kicking and it's cool.