I for one wear the 'Alpha Female' badge with pride! To me, this stands for being highly charged, positive and a people-oriented person. It truly frustrates me that the label often carries a negative connotation - it's equated to being ruthless, nasty or needlessly combative to succeed at all costs. Those who embody the latter approach aren't setting an healthy example for the next wave of young female leaders, don't you think?
I have temporarily swapped slovenly student life for that of a suited city slicker. With my track record in high heels, "city-stumbler" would be a more accurate description. I identify with this term, a "Helena original", not only due to my distinct lack of work experience but also as a result of my natural clumsiness in the workplace.
Two years ago, when I decided to leave my job as VP of Sales for a public company, many people told me "don't do it/that's the end of your career/such a risky move" because I didn't have another job lined up. They saw what I was doing as the end of my world, whilst for me it was the beginning of a new one.
As I trawl through my Russian grammar books, revelling in the complexities of the perfective and imperfective case, deciphering letters that look more like variations of stick men and desperately try not to sound like a Welshman when speaking the language, I take a moment to remember "Dare 2 B Different" and consider its future successes.
Through my writing and social media, I try and encourage girls to pursue the things they're interested in, whether it's a hobby they would like to make into a career - like writing - or whether it's an academic subject they want to study further, even if it's a STEM subject that's typically a male-dominated area. Girls need good role models and I am determined to be one of them.
During the 15 years in which I have worked in the financial services industry there have been several times when I have found myself in a minority. Early on in my career I was one of only a few Brits working on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Grand Cayman - a small island with amazing beaches, a large expat population and some very nice cocktails!
Growing up, I was fascinated with computers and gaming, mostly due to encouragement from my parents who saw computing as being an increasingly relevant skill to learn. However, the only famous individuals in tech that I knew about were men like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. As a child I felt that it was strange that I was interested in computers, probably because I had no role models to look up to.
Without becoming too tangential to the centre of my discussion, I want to briefly identify that this is not a diatribe against Holly Willoughby, against somebody who is doing their job as a television personality, but rather she features since she is part of the show and thus, playing "the only game that exists."
There are so many obvious answers to this question: they started a business, they want to make money, they live in developing markets, and of course they want to be successful. But what do we really mean by "to be successful"? Making a lot of money? Be famous? Own a huge house and be on holiday forever? Sometimes that's it, but not always... and not everywhere....
When we think of 'women and sport' - in the empowerment sense - many of us think of participation: how can we get more girls and women playing sport, utilising sport, using it as an opportunity to succeed? Gender equality in sport is important - that's a fact - and valiant efforts are going towards getting women's sport more coverage, more attention, and securing more resources towards providing opportunities for girls and young women to get access to sport.