100 Women of Influence
In September I was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence list for 2018. Quite incredible really. It has made me ponder what influence is and what I do with it ever since.
Early this year Cambridge University in the UK invited me to join them as a guest lecturer for a group of young leaders from across the Commonwealth who were leading change in their communities. Cambridge wanted me to teach the young leaders how to build sustainable and scalable businesses from their startups.
My first thought was, wow, that’s cool.
My second thought was, how on earth do I teach that.
A friend of mine then pointed out that I think at scale, I work in large organisations, I lead teams of thousands, and that thinking, built over years of experience, can help others.
My task then became, how to teach something that comes naturally now, but stems from years of on-the-job experiences. Like teaching someone to drive a car, it’s really hard, but if it can be learnt, it can be taught. So I worked out how.
Another friend of mine in the technology industry reached out last week saying that she had finally realised that maybe she was a role model to other women & she could do something to influence getting more women in technology. This is so important. We need more women in technology.
Technology events aren’t like the 100 Women of Influence Awards gala. That was fabulous. Tech events these days publish a code of conduct, dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience. I love that organisers take this seriously, but I don’t love that we need these in my industry.
My friend’s question on being a role model for women in tech was important, for her & for the industry. And it got the same reaction from me as the invite from Cambridge. Wow, that’s cool. Then, how on earth do I answer that. I know that I have learnt what being a role model is all about over the last few years, so I know that this too can be taught and I’m working out how.
With 100 Women of Influence, I’ve moved beyond the wow, that’s cool, and onto the how on earth. And that’s the thing, I’m not heading out to influence more, I’m working out how to help others influence. I hope you do too.
More on the AFR 100 WOI Awards: http://www.afrwomenofinfluence.com.au/awards/