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Get You on The Priority List

27 April 2016

I was on such a high following International Women’s Day and hearing the likes of Liz Broderick, Julie Bishop, David Morrison AO all putting gender equality firmly on stage. I heard that changing the statistics and setting aspirational quotas was a priority. Since then in my conversations and coaching with many women I’ve been deflated by how little women are making themselves a priority.

In these conversations I’ve heard women share with me the concerns and challenges that are facing them, such as:

         I should really make changes now, as I know I’m not being paid enough.

         I know I could be further advanced in my career, but in my industry it is mostly men who are considered for management roles.

         I am very aware I should be paid more, but I don’t feel confident enough to ask for more.

         In my industry, men are considered first and more often for Senior Management roles.

Yet in the very next breath they tell me all the things that need to be done before they can prioritise focusing on themselves and making the above changes happen. What I have heard them say is:

         I just paid for my child’s overseas school trip, so I don’t have any spare money for my professional development.

         My family have lots of activities after school, evenings and weekends, so I don’t have time to commit to a program for my own development.

         I am too busy at work. I can’t take time out of my day for my own professional learning.

There’s a priority list that women seem to have and it begins with with kids, family, work, friends. They’re not on the list a lot of the time.

Through years of coaching women I’ve come across the issue many times. I've experienced the stress of this juggle myself. Being a mum, wife, friend, business owner, coach, consultant and more. I remember when I was on the bottom of my list of priorities, which actually meant I didn’t do anything for myself. After the top priorities, there wasn’t any time left for me. I ended up having lots of health issues, burning out and even miscarrying a baby. It was a devastating experience to go through, but one that taught me so much. I learned from that experience that in order to be a great mum, wife, friend, business owner and more, I need to look after me first and then I can be there for everyone else, with even more energy, enthusiasm and love.

Question: What do you need to change to get you on the priority list?

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