Gender equality for me has been a journey throughout my life. As a young girl growing up with two older brothers, I was always in the thick of things. Fishing, riding bikes, building things with my dad and always being referred to as a ‘tom-boy’.
It was when I was around 8 years old that I came to realise I was treated differently because I was a girl. It never really occurred to me that I should not be the leader of the local gang of boys in the street, nor that I should allow one of the boys, or in fact anyone, to beat me in any thing if I was better at it. Fast forward 20 years and I’m still in the thick of things, now selling IT technology solutions in very much a male dominated industry. I have never let gender stereotypes hold me back and this is certainly the case for my career as well.
Fast forward another 12 years and I’m working with one of the largest software companies in the world, I manage a high performing team of talented men and women, who understand how to make a team work and produce at the highest standards. It was when I joined Microsoft that I truly understood that gender equality in my industry meant recognising the strengths that each person has, and respecting those people for who they are. It means rewarding skills and talents in individuals regardless of gender or stereotypes. It means celebrating what can be achieved by great people; women, men and transgender.
It also means recognising that equality equals team strength and achievement, it’s about us all being unique and being able to deliver to our strengths and being respected for that.
I have now worked in the IT industry for 35 years. While my industry has not always been a leader in gender equality, I now work towards a better future and look forward to what we could achieve with equality: greater respect and strength.
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Thank you to our guest bloggers and community advocates for taking part in our Gender Equality Matters 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign.