Communications manager, L’Oreal Luxe at L’Oreal UK & Ireland I would call myself an independent, free-thinking person, who happens to be a woman, and who believes girls can achieve anything they strive to achieve. It is how I’ve been brought up. I guess, I believe if there is a glass ceiling, then give it 100pc, and break through it because you can, and because women have so much to offer society and to the world. If that makes me a feminist, then yes, I guess I am.
To quote a popular ‘feminism’ quote attributed to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, when she said, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’ — to me, she didn’t mean that women should misbehave in order to be memorable. She was commenting on the fact that so many women who made positive impacts on society are overlooked by history. Relatively few women have their names and their greatness remembered as they should be — something that hopefully will be corrected in this lifetime. Yes, the tide is beginning to turn, and, for me, remembering the women of 1916 is recent evidence of equality for women, but is a tiny step forward.
I think it has become easy for ‘others’ to diss feminism and make a mockery of what it really is, and so I probably wouldn’t be wearing any badges per se, however, I would have no problem in expressing what I think. Men should also be supportive of equality for all, and should actively encourage their mothers, sisters, and daughters.
Quite honestly, I could never agree with gender quotas — be it in the world of politics, and certainly not within the workplace. Advancement should be on merit and merit alone.
I wouldn’t appreciate advancement just because I was a woman. How can you be proud of your achievement, garner respect from peers and colleagues, and accept a clap on the back, if there is even a slight suggestion that you’re there only to make up the female numbers?