Put Women in the Spotlight and get #BalanceforBetter
So, International Women’s Day.
This brings a myriad of thoughts and emotions to my mind. For me, it’s a time for reflection, scrutiny, gratitude - and "Action"!
Courses and ‘phone books…
Thinking back to the start of my career, I remember being told at university that the best way for me to get into “the media” would be to do a secretarial course. So, I did! Armed with my Honours Degree in English Literature and Social Policy, I went to college and got my Diploma for Graduate Secretaries – because that’s what you did in those days. However, although being able to touch type is quite handy, with the greatest respect to all secretaries and PAs, who are totally wonderful by the way, that was not my dream job or the direction I’d thought I’d be going in! Anyway, I then headed off to London and joined BBC Television – such excitement! – and received a not-quite-so-exciting day’s training on how to read the internal ‘phone book (this is true!) and understand some of the BBC’s countless acronyms! (I kid you not!) And, I have to say, I don’t remember seeing any men on those courses…
My first job with BBC Television was as secretary to a very lovely personnel officer and one of the things I found absolutely fascinating was the entries on the front of the personnel files (none of this digital stuff, we’re talking paper and card!). Every member of staff had their past and current posts listed chronologically on the inside cover of their file and so it was easy to see their career progression. Do you know, you could virtually guarantee that all the successful female members of staff had started out as a – you guessed it! – secretary!
They shone the light!
I’m so grateful to all those female producers and directors who showed the rest of us that it could be done! At the time, those personnel files gave me encouragement and the hope that I would be able to ‘move up the ladder’ and achieve the creative responsibility that I yearned for. Those women who’d joined the BBC before me, shone the light! They showed me that I could progress my career and which steps I needed to take to do it! With a lot of determination and sheer hard graft, I did make that progression and eventually moved on to my dream job of directing – I even managed to skip a step along the way! (And I don’t mean yellow brick road stylee!)
With a little inspiration and support, I did things that I was told couldn’t be done because I tried anyway and succeeded. Along the way, I met some women who had attained their positions and hung on to them jealously (and, in some cases, quite ruthlessly!) whilst others were magnanimous in extending their friendship and sharing their knowledge and those are the type of women that we need more of!
You can do it…
It’s a shame that women at that time were being advised to take such a circuitous route to get to the career they dreamed of and that this path was so well trodden. Obviously, today things are different and that’s great. Ok, you might still have to join a production team as a runner to get that ‘on the job’ training and make those vital networking connections but, as a woman, you can do it with your media degree behind you rather than an electronic typewriter in front of you. (I think I’m giving away my age a wee bit here!)
It's a rebuild job…
Fast forward one or two years (or perhaps just a few more, ha ha!) and I’m not the same person I used to be – which of us are? The confidence of my younger self deserted me as I struggled to maintain a marriage which, let’s just say, wasn’t doing me any favours! I came out of that marriage with two beautiful children but zero self-confidence and it’s been a rebuild job ever since. (There, I’ve said it, it’s out in the open and I’m not going to hide it or feel ashamed about it any more!) But, you know, I’ve come across so many amazing women since then that, once again, I’m inspired to push on, to regain my confidence, rebuild my self-esteem and attain the happy and fulfilling life that I want for myself and for my children.
There are so many women who have inspired, supported and encouraged me over the years - big shout out to them and to all the women on courses and in Facebook groups etc who offer a helping hand and support each other whenever they can!
Women can be so….
Women can be so Strong
Women can be so Inspiring
Women can be so Caring, Loving, Encouraging, Loyal, Amazing, Creative, Helpful, Giving, Nurturing and Awesome (I could go on!) -
that it just blows me away!
Often, we forget just what Fabulous Creatures we are!
Spotlight on Wonderful Women!
It really is time now for all women to make a choice, to make a stand and to create
Getting a better gender balance could mean all sorts of things to different people - better opportunities and working conditions; better home life; better results; better self esteem; better choices; better income; better sense of fulfilment; better living conditions; better mental health... I'm sure you've got the idea! And I'm equally sure that we can all do something, however small, to help build a world of balance and equality!
For me, it means starting at home, completing that rebuild job and, at the same time, helping other women to shine their light and fulfil their potential.
I want to help more women gain the courage and the confidence to become more visible in their business and to put themselves in the spotlight by getting in front of a camera and telling the world how wonderful they are. I want to help them display the special skills and products they have to offer in their businesses.
I want to empower women.
And, of course, it’s also important to me that I show my son and my daughter that,
Women are Special, Women are Equal, Women are Successful
and, most of all,
Women are Wonderful!
What will you do to #BalanceforBetter?
You might find some inspiration on the International Women’s Day website
Whether you want to make your own video or have it produced for you,
I’d love to help you harness the power of video.
So, get in touch and visualise YOUR business with
Julie Neilson Media!
You can find
My online course, From Camera Shy to Camera Confident here
My website here
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