Celebrating exceptional women
One cannot help but see the resurgence of a new age of feminism: look at the published titles in the last three years, the podcasts, the online communities, the new ‘she and hers’ language, the breadth of diversity and common ground of problems and solutions. Perhaps more importantly, the appetite to talk more openly about women’s matters across age and socio-economics. Womanhood has become a celebration in breadth and depth.
This incredibly re-energising trend has awakened not only women but also the men they live or work with. As a result, the adage ‘beside every happy woman, there is a listening man’ (feel free to create your own version!) is more robust than ever.
But irrespective of gender, being heard and understood is ultimately grounded in sharing similar values, companionship and a more positive outlook on life. The fact that compassion and gratitude are also back in fashion also helps. These are only a few ingredients to offset the toxic hustle and me-too culture, which fails to bring authentic value to how we live and run our businesses.
So, whatever attributes you choose for your version of the adage above, affirm them confidently. They are then likely to continue to stay valid and amplify with each and every personal experience. This will add to what is exceptional in all that we do – personally and in the groups to which we belong.
On this topic, I have three confessions to make:
- Since we started Image Ability, we would have never thought of having more illuminating conversations about what it really means to be a woman at 20, 40 or over 50 with a more diverse range of colleagues and friends across a few cultures. Each and any one of them has been compelling, direct and perceptive. We treasure that.
- Those who don’t say anything are not necessarily uninterested. They may just be more welcoming when approached directly . . a few times. When we are not in the same room, we re-learn mutual nurturing the hard way. The ‘blessing’ of the online!
- As a non-native English speaker (I have only spoken the language since I was ten years old), I have always been cautious about the use of words – and how they make me feel when I use them. At Image Ability, we apply ‘feeling’ to everything we do and write about.
So, we reflected on the past and decided: we are going into 2023 with a quest for exceptional – indeed, exceptional women.
Our choice for ‘exceptional’ is to raise the bar simply because the more concerted action we take – as both women and men – the better we will become at finding them, appreciating, supporting, encouraging and empowering them and others like them. They are all around us.
The challenges of the pandemic have morphed into new versions of economic and personal struggles. For most women, this is a continuum, with no break or signs of easing; if anything, some challenges are getting tougher. Yet, these exceptional women have faced them with determination, smart work, empathy, intuition, and resolve. To some, we owe our life or a breakthrough in business. Others are always on our side, candidly helping us achieve new things. Some we follow or admire from a distance.
They could be exceptional for any reason; they ran a first marathon, worked throughout the pandemic, supported a neighbour in need, or were fantastic, supportive bosses. It can be ANY reason at all.
The choice is yours so, think this through and put some names forward!
From women working in the medical profession to those working from their homes while supporting one or two more generations dependent on their energy and inspiration. From CEOs keeping businesses running under challenging circumstances to those who started new ventures needing to know what lay ahead for them.
These women are rarely likely to find time to celebrate or even think that they do or deserve anything special. So our start-of-the-year initiative is designed to inspire each and any one of us who work with, support and depend on exceptional women to supercharge the goodness they create.
Keep on nominating your choice – and tag in LinkedIn if she is there. But don’t give up if she is nowhere to be seen or tagged on social channels. A name (possibly an image?) and a few words about what inspired your choice are enough.
Once we have received all your nominations online, we will make a selection and spread the good news of what’s coming next!
Celebrating Exceptional Women is our way of creating a community of like-minded women who can support and empower each other. Women who encourage others to recognise qualities in themselves that perhaps they hadn’t realised were exceptional.
Nominations will open until late January, so click here to do yours.
Show them how exceptional they are!
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