Since I began licensing RenewYou, my one day personal development course for women, I’ve had enquiries from the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Greece, Bangkok, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey, and of course, the UK. I am both thrilled and humbled by the interest and obviously enormously pleased. It’s hard to believe that from a small beginning something rather wonderful is emerging that really is impacting on women’s lives. Some days I’m so excited I think I need weights on my boots to stop me flying away.
I have always been passionate about equality and fairness. You’d expect that from the daughter of a trades unionist father, and a mother who took a job as a bus conductress, a ‘clippie’, because it was one of the few jobs post war that offered women the same pay as men doing the same job. Most of my life I’ve spoken up when I have seen things I believe to be wrong and sometimes that has got me into deep water. In particular, when I spoke about the unequal treatment of women in the 70s and 80s I got quite a barracking, or worse, (much worse) dismissed and ignored.
I have a particular memory of trying to articulate an argument at age 13 about why women were ‘forced’ to shave their armpits and being laughed at mercilessly by everyone present, including the females. It was the late sixties and I’ll concede that my arguments were not well formed but the message was clear, don’t talk rubbish, Jane. Stop challenging everything. Forty plus years on the media still goes bonkers if a film star dares to appear with a hint of underarm hair! Give me strength…
As I moved through my working life I have been acutely aware of gender inequalities: in one job I held ALL the managers were men and almost all the workforce were women. I wrote a paper on the recruitment practices that mitigated against women and was scoffed at by some of the men (not all I’m pleased to say). But the women took it up and we had a successful women into management group running which actually did manage to change the balance, and when I left there were more females in management than men. Which was absolutely correct as the workforce was predominately female so in an equal world you’d expect that ratio.
Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to make a real difference. But we can; we can add our voices to others by joining groups, or supporting charities like WomanKind, as I do. And we can each resolve to do our bit and challenge inequality whenever we can, not to accept second best or discriminatory behaviour, or societal sexism like Page Three, or no women being represented on bank notes in the UK.
Do Women Lack Confidence?
A major factor oft cited for women not being at the top echelons of society is that we lack confidence. Numerous studies support this claim. This is no surprise given how the world operates on patriarchal lines. It’s hard to feel confident in a system designed to suit only one half of the population; I wonder that we haven’t risen up and stormed the Bastille….yet.
For a long time I’ve been on a mission to help women speak out, to have the confidence to challenge the status quo, to pursue what they genuinely want to do, and not what is expected of them. That may mean opting out of the career trajectory as well as opting in with gusto and smashing the glass ceiling.
Why I Wrote RenewYou
When I wrote RenewYou, some years ago, I wanted to design a course that gave women an opportunity to take time out to think about their future. I wanted a course that wouldn’t tell them what to do, but would rather help give them a huge confidence boost to do what they wanted to do, to fulfil their potential. I wanted them to walk away from the day thinking I can and I will and believe that they could follow their dreams. And I wanted as many women as possible to experience that feeling which is why it’s a one day course. Women are often quite bad at giving themselves permission to do something ‘just for them’ so the one day only is important: one day that can impact on a whole lifetime.
I think I’ve personally delivered RenewYou to maybe 400+ women over the years, but now I have licensed trainers across the globe (yes, literally), all excellent in their own unique way, all committed to women’s personal development, who are spreading the message. The impact of the course has exceeded my wildest imaginings.
Be you, your authentic self, on your own terms, and be the best you can be.
If you’re interested in helping me spread the word to as many women as possible please take a look at my page especially for trainers. Click here. I have developed my licensing model to practise what I preach: equality, fairness and openness. It’s hugely important to me that I have passionate and committed trainers and that I support them to the hilt, so we can really make a difference.
Carry on being amazing and always be the best you can be because it’s the only way to be.
Thinking of expanding your training business? Are you passionate about empowering women? I can help you! To find out how, click here.
Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Jane