To mark International Women’s Day, we went along to a Breakfast event at the Facebook HQ in Dublin this morning. Coffee and croissants galore and a fabulous line-up of people from right across the business world with wise words and great tales to tell. Here’s few lessons we picked up this morning, for the day that’s in it!
THE WORK IS WORKING.
This was one of the main themes of the morning. The Facebook global business team repeatedly told a room of 200+ ladies that our work IS working. That we are not to loose sight of the great work we ARE doing… and to stop being so different to men when it comes to blowing our own trumpet! Men are particularly good at going for the big gigs. The senior roles. They are more comfortable with their worth. They have more faith in themselves. They don’t use nearly as much energy as us questioning and justifying our position in the home or in society. VP of Global Business Ciarán Quilty told us that not enough women are applying for the big jobs; the management jobs. He wants us to do more of it because he knows that is a very strong chance we’ll get the gig; but he can’t offer it to us if we don’t put our name in the hat.
Lesson 1: Take a deep breath, and jump right in.
The totally inspirational Sinead Burke blew us all away with her keynote speech. My god can that girl make a point! She tells a story, pulls from her experiences, is modest and grateful for all the good things that have happened in her life, and she’s thankful that her disability forced her to think outside the box. To see things from a different point of view. Not to look at who’s in the room… but who’s NOT in the room. Diversity and collaboration breeds success. Quite simply, Sinead is amazing. Make it your business to watch this lady’s first TED talk. She didn’t know it at the time but she said it changed her life!
Lesson 2: Don’t drown in the size of a great opportunity. Grab it by the hoo-ha’s and own it. What’s the worst that can happen?
BE CURIOUS ENOUGH TO UN-LEARN
I thought this sounded odd when I heard it. But by the fifth mention I was loving it! Re-invent yourself. Always. Never settle with a ‘what you know is what you know’ outlook. Trends and ways of working/ living are changing every day. Embrace change. Don’t let it rattle you. Be curious and willing to learn. That’s what will make you better professionally and personally. It will give you strength you didn’t think you had. Look back now and again to see just how far you’ve come, but don’t look back wishing today was like yesterday. You’ll be very disappointed.
Lesson 3: The University of Life does exist. Always want to learn… and be curious enough to un-learn what you know, bringing new strengths and opportunities your way.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the wonderful, powerful, inspirational women out there!