The Blog

From Here to Maternity Leave

Yeah I'm a feminist, if that means supporting and promoting the best interests of womankind. But it's more about equality. I'm an 'Equalatist' if that words exists, and if it doesn't I'm submitting it to the Oxford Dictionary!

I helped employ Angelina a few months ago. A prettier, slightly wilder version of my younger self. Although there's 15 years between us, we clicked. We share the same sense of humour, work ethic and love of all things fluffy. It helps when you spend 10 hours a day with someone!

Ange has the courtesy to refer to me as her older sister, but really I could be her Mum. All this aside, she was one of my chosen recruits to plug the gap during my maternity leave.

It wasn't easy coming to the realisation that I was now on the other side of new, watching a younger more vibrant, less jaded model step into my shoes. Knowing she's going to be an amazing asset to the team and although they'll miss me, they really won't with her around. If I'm Coca-Cola the original, then she's Coca-Cola Life, the modern version for a new generation. But I have no qualms about my choice. She's wonderful and truly deserves the job, and with a major head start on her, there's really no competition.

It's perhaps the realisation of no longer being young that hits the hardest. But it was essential I replaced myself with someone excellent, and here's why...

We, particularly women, have an obligation to stick together and help each other out.

Yeah I'm a feminist, if that means supporting and promoting the best interests of womankind. But it's more about equality. I'm an 'Equalatist' if that words exists, and if it doesn't I'm submitting it to the Oxford Dictionary!

It's ironic that I feel this way when you consider the series of events that led me to this philosophy.

Rewind 10 years. I'm in the prime of my 20s, I can withstand hangovers and late nights and what's more, there's no sign of it the next day. No dark circles, no dry skin, no cold sores, no wrinkles. The beauty of youth!

I'm also in my dream job. Working for one of the best entertainment brands in their marketing team. Everyone was young, fun and full of... themselves. It was like being a rock star without the celebrity and I couldn't believe I was paid for the privilege.

By my own admission, this lifestyle had taken its toll on one thing - my attitude. I was, looking back, a little cocky. Not very humble, full of self interest. That sadly does happen when you've not had too many knockbacks or reality checks. But that was about to change...

The humbling reality check happened when my wonderful boss left to go travelling and replaced herself with the boss from hell.

To protect her identity, let's call her Miranda - a nod to Miranda Priestly, the boss lady in The Devil Wears Prada.

At first Miranda was like a long lost friend, totally on my wavelength and seemingly worshipped me, and best of all she could see I was a hard worker and got results.

In my naivety, I thought getting results was all it was about. It was a sad day when I realised it took so much more. Just look around any corporation - those ladder climbers, who are they? Ok, sometimes they are the grafters, but quite often its the 'yes men'. The people that know the right things to say to the right people. They nod, they roll over, they get on. They don't fight the system, they don't intimidate. They won't make you look bad, they are easy to promote. I admire it really, but I can never be one.

Miranda too had 15 years on me, was highly intelligent, charismatic, good at her job. People liked her. She had a sexual allure that she used to her advantage, to watch her at work was like watching a preying mantis. Those few months we spent together we're very insightful.

I was no competition for her. She was better than me in every way, but she was also very insecure. She felt threatened by me I'm sure of it. And sadly that meant I had to go.

It didn't have to be that way. It shouldn't have been that way. But she was one of those women that didn't like other women. She didn't like competition. She had to be the Queen Bee. The people she employed in my absence were the most lacklustre irrelevant nobodies you can imagine. That's how insecure she was.

So I left and moved on. And in many ways I look back and thank Miranda for making me the woman I am today. A woman proud to support other women, a woman who believes we have a duty to mentor and nurture the next generation. A woman that understands the importance of knockbacks.

And a woman that believes that the pathway to true happiness and contentment is about giving back and celebrating yours and others successes.

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