Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - GIRL POWER -

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?

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