How do you feel your confidence has changed over the past 10 years?

I am actually more confident in some areas, like speaking out in meetings.  I have found my voice, I am not afraid to challenge others. I have confidence in my area of expertise, and also have responsibility as a supervisor in my organisation. I have a 16 year old daughter, I would never want her to be told that she is less than because she is a women.

Why do you think that is?

I got tired of not being asked in meetings, so instead started putting myself forward.  I asked for coaching, I sought out promotion.

There is still work to do, I feel less confident when I walk in room and still not recognised as the lead in my area, that I have to work double hard to be heard. When I still receive emails addressed to ‘Dear Gents’.

Do you feel invisible in some aspects of your life? How does that show up?

I am a mum, wife, employee, supervisor and then me.

I was in a meeting and we were seeking recruitment from females in proactive roles, it was suggested we aim at younger females as they have less commitments – no children etc.  It was interesting, as I was now at stage where my child was grown and I actually had time now.  Our target group could have been older women, the network is brilliant at supporting women in the workplace.  However; it was thought-provoking around this mindset.

Tell me about a woman who is older than you, inspires you and why? Describe how she makes you feel.

My previous boss, a women who championed other women. For the first time in 20 years of working for my organisation, she made me feel I could seek promotion; that I was good enough.  She helped me believe in myself and actually asked my views. I felt empowered by her, and am ever grateful to her for where I am now.

What worries you about ageing?

Unable to look after myself, being a burden.

What excites you about ageing?

I look forward to retirement and spending more time with family, seeing my daughter grow and helping her navigate life.

What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?

You can do anything you put your mind to, you are clever enough.