Engineering is a great and rewarding career for women. I have never experienced discrimination during my career, and in fact, many of my most successful colleagues are women.
I went away with a group of old university friends this weekend and I was reminded yet again of my uni nick name - The Boss. I hated it.
That blasted phrase is the imaginary pot of gold at the end of the rainbow we've been using to bludgeon ourselves and our self-esteem with for years. It doesn't exist. How could it?
The word 'mumpreneur' was added to the sixth edition of the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011 - a tribute to the growing numbers of women in the UK who regularly don two hats, one as a business-owner and the other as a mum, usually with young families. According to research released last year, the UK is home to more than 300,000 mumpreneurs who contribute as much as £7.4 billion a year to the economy.
If we are to grow and prosper as a country - we must invest in our youth. With university graduates racking up an average of more than £30,000 worth of debt, apprenticeships provide a great alternative of structured and hands on learning, not to mention that the financial incentive that students can earn whilst they learn.
You have an idea, maybe more than one, so which one do you start with and how can you be sure it's the right one?
I work with a leader who is sloppy: a bit disorganised, he forgets things and at times drops the ball. He is also extremely successful and admired. The thing is, his sloppiness is interpreted (accurately) as big thinking and creativity. It occurs to me that I don't know any women in senior positions who are also sloppy and successful; that bothers me.
I have no particular religious inclination but I, like Dan Brown, have always recognised that if females are anything at all they are almost all quite divine and no more so than in the workplace...
Talking to a friend at a networking event the other day, I asked what drove her to pay the hefty fee required to join the business group she belongs to. Referrals? Connections? Adding a few business cards to an already teetering pile? None of these.
It is well-documented that the UK needs more engineers and technologists. WISE says the country produces 36,000 fewer engineers than it needs every year. A CBI survey earlier this year found that 39% of businesses with STEM vacancies were finding it difficult to fill those roles. Something in the supply and demand of STEM skills is out of whack.
There are several issues with the logistics of this - especially for micro businesses (a business being run by a single person) using the most basic sales software.
Most people don't think they are sacrificing. They are just helping. Or doing what they can do easily while others aren't able to, so you might as well...! Of course they can't because you do it for them and believe you are the only one who can help, (how arrogant when it is put like that) and of course it is easier to take over someone else's life than take responsibility for your own.
Whilst I'm not a fan of positive discrimination, women's sport needs a platform to highlight its achievements and to encourage change. The recipients of next week's awards are the trailblazers that will get us there. Maybe in the future we won't need women's only sport awards, but right now without it some of
There has been a lot written about happiness in the workplace recently - what it does for efficiencies, productivity, staff retention and loyalty. So I am not being entirely altruistic. I think if I succeed in creating a happy company I will probably deliver against the 'harder' objectives I get set every year far more easily.
Some 35 years ago my mother told me the future would be female then, 20 years later when my own business started to prosper I was told those very same words yet again by a wannabe employee. The question is: is the future still female or indeed has the future arrived?
Whoever I talk to in the working world, the subjects of overload, exhaustion and burnout are a primary topic of conversation.