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Are we being hypersensitive?

Last week I found myself getting annoyed by the Tweets of a high profile female leader who comments on the role of women in society. She was complaining about the lack of a mention of our Women’s 4 x 100 relay team who apparently didn’t get a mention for a whole 5 minutes in a news item about that evening’s World Championships after winning a silver medal. Of course they did well but our men’s team got a gold medal and global superstar Usain Bolt crashed out of the race – both legitimate mentions before our women’s team in my opinion.

I feel that we need to be careful and not get hysterical about every perceived slight on the role and position of women in the press and elsewhere – a sure fire way to become annoying, turn off readers and lessen the impact of relevant commentary.

On a more positive note, the coverage of women’s sport has improved out of sight in the last 12 months. A long way from when Judy Murray was selected to join a Performance Coaching course and one of the rejected applicants (a man) wrote in and complained because she was a mother with young children and what could she possibly contribute!

Yvonne Lumley is a Partner at Attain Development and an experienced coach, consultant and mentor.

A Lesson as Old as the Hills

I recently visited the oldest remaining family friend that I have, a lady of 102. She lives in her own home, helped by her daughter and carers, and is physically very frail but lively and alert in every other way. It was a pleasure to spend time with her as she talked about my grandmother, mother, aunts and uncles and what they got up to when they were young.

She was extremely interested in my life and work, talked about her own travels to New Zealand in particular, and wanted to know how I and my husband enjoyed our trips and to compare notes. She asked us which of the extended family and friends we were in contact with and asked us outright if we were happy together – luckily we both answered readily in the affirmative. She was at pains to tell us that was what mattered, along with doing as much as we could with our lives. She mentioned her own health only fleetingly in response to our pressing her on it.

It was a heartwarming and thought provoking encounter and living proof of the research that shows that contentment and fulfilment depend on making and sustaining connections with others and taking an active interest in other people and in the outside world. We should all take note!

Gillian Morley is a Partner in Attain Development who have a passion for increasing the number of women in Board and Senior Management positions.

At Your Convenience – or not?

I was at Royal Ascot a few weeks ago and was surprised to find a unisex lavatory block there. The facilities themselves were fine, but all the women and men in our party were unhappy about it, although we used them before finding a more traditional Ladies and Gents.
It was fascinating to see what happened later without any prompting or direction: the women queued up to enter the block by the left hand side door and the men in an equally orderly queue to go in the right hand door.
Habits take some changing and maybe some won’t!
Gillian Morley is a Partner in Attain Development who have a passion for increasing the number of women in Board and Senior Management positions.