March 8th is International Women’s Day and this year the theme is ‘Choose to Challenge ‘.
I think it’s always quite a hard decision to take to challenge perhaps a decision that has been made that you don’t agree with or perhaps a stereotypical situation. We tend to want to fit in with everyone else and not be seen as someone who is perhaps a bit different or even difficult.
The women that I admire for taking on the challenge of stereotypes are Hannah Jackson and Amanda Owen who have shown the farming world that women can be successful in the industry and also overcome enormous hurdles and difficult situations.
On a different level I have a person closer who home who is never afraid to challenge despite now only been 18. My daughter is one of the few people who are never afraid to challenge situations that she feels aren’t morally right. At 16 starting her first job she was put in a situation by her then employer who asked her to comment on a situation she didn’t feel appropriate.
I think they thought that they had an easy target but they don’t know her. Faced with this, she applied for and found another job within days and when asked why she was leaving by one of the directors she explained why she had taken the decision. I was so proud of her. I have wondered where this characteristic came from and it has been clear over the last few days where she gets this characteristic from.
Her Grandpa has recently passed away and reading through the articles that have been written about him the one thing that has shone through in them is his integrity – he was in a position that he could so easily have taken advantage of. In addition his ability to take ’bold and brave decisions ‘ for the benefit of the people he worked with has become very clear, in particular becoming the first person to appoint a Race and Housing Officer when it wasn’t the acceptable thing to do. I am so very proud of them both.