This is a favourite quote of mine by Melinda Gates, “when we invest in women and girls, we invest in the people who invest in everyone else”.
Related to this, I came across a blog post written by her a year or so ago which a struck a chord with me. It talked about the importance of also investing in yourself.
Every New Year, instead of making a resolution to do more exercise or eat more healthily Melinda Gates chooses one word and works at applying it to herself, her work and the world around her. In this case, the word was ‘gentle’.
Like her, I have two daughters and like many people I worry about the high ideals that women and girls are held to; the expectation that they should be able to effortlessly excel at work, take care of their family, keep themselves in shape and be camera ready at all times. We are led to believe that these women exist but what you see is rarely the whole story.
Research suggests that this cycle of self-criticism and self-doubt leads women to believe that the success they do achieve is down to luck and good fortune rather than their own skills and hard work. Excellent women such as Melinda Gates and Dr Ayanna Howard show us however that this is not the case and provide the role models required for us and our daughters. There is also room for gentleness on the way to the top!