The weather in London this morning was quite favourable (10 degrees) compared to the way it was few days back. I call it favourable because i wouldn’t have to wear very thick clothes which are heavy and will probably make me walk slower. So off to the station i went and in less than 25 minutes i was already in Islington…quite unusual. On a normal day it takes about 30 minutes or more to get there from Stratford; there would have been few delays with the tube lines so i always give some set-back times for that so that i dont get to work late. Fortunately for me i arrived 30 minutes early and little did i know i was coming in for an interrogation session (lol, not what you think…this one was different).
After the exchange of pleasantries and smiles, i sat down to digest the question a colleague asked me. He first started with how he met a lady and in less than 5 days she was asking him for money and sending bank details for him to make deposits. He went further to say that giving the money is actually not a problem to him but that he will not give his hard earned money to a girl who is not hardworking, a lady who just sits down and expects everything to be handed to her on a platter. In his words, “she wants money that she doesn’t know how to make and she is not even making any efforts to get a job”. I digested the whole info and took a deep breath, hhmmm…where do i start from? First of all, 5 days and you’re sending him your bank details… that screams “gold-digger”; but i’m not going to dwell on this. The major reason for writing this article is to talk about the second part of his lamentations, a lady who expects everything on a platter and doesn’t even make any efforts to get a job. Before you continue, if you havent read “In Love With The Gardener”, pls read it HERE so you can understand the latter part of this article.
Some ladies have this notion that as a lady you don’t need to work or study beyond a particular stage(for some B.Sc and others Masters, very few think of Ph.D) because after all the accomplishments you will end up under a man’s roof and all your certificates will amount to nothing since most part of your time as a woman is spent in the kitchen. There used to be this popular acronym of WEEK when i was in secondary school which means “Woman’s Education Ends in Kitchen”. I heard this while i was still a teenager and i will like to think that this happened for women back in the 19th century and backwards. Even while growing up my mum was a banker and excelled at her job so why should a 21st century girl sit down at home, cross her legs, ping on blackberry, facebook and tweet without any efforts to get a job? (Don’t get me wrong…i love social networking; i actually miss my BB :O( can’t believe i’ve spent 2weeks without it). So back to biz – Why should you place a limitation on achieving your dreams because you think it will end in the kitchen? Who says you cannot be good in the kitchen and also good in your profession? That’s what i call the “360 degree Lady”. Gone are the days when there were limitations in the professional/business world for a lady to hold certain positions like CEO or MD. While going through the Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, it was noted that 104 women made the list and the most remarkable of them were:
1. Christy Walton of Wal-Mart family fame was the richest at $25.3 billion. She pulled down almost $200 million in dividends from the world’s largest retailer this year.
2. Europe’s richest woman, France’s Liliane Bettencourt, made her money from L’Oreal. Bettencourt is worth $24 billion.
3. Jacqueline Mars is is worth $13.8 billion. She and her brothers own the world’s largest candy company.
4. Savitri Jindal, of India, is the richest Asian on the list at $10.9 billion. Her fortune took a big hit as the steel business in her family’s conglomerate was forced to cut production after a court decree against iron ore mining in the southern part of the country.
5. Miuccia Prada, who runs the fashion empire her grandfather Mario Prada founded, is worth $6.8 billion.
6. Yang Huiyan, China’s richest person in 2007 at $16.2 billion, has seen her net worth crumble to a paltry $4.7 billion this year. Most of her money has come from the family’s Hong Kong real estate business. Don’t worry about her too much. At 30, she’s among the youngest on the billionaires list and has a few years to earn it all back.
7. Chinese gambling mogul Pansy Ho is a newcomer to the list at $4.5 billion. One of 16 children of the mogul that developed the island of Macau into China’s version of Las Vegas, she runs her own company.
8. The chair of French advertising giant Publicis Groupe, Elisabeth Badinter, is another newcomer to the list at $1.1 billion.
9. Sara Blakely was 29 when she invested her then-life savings, $5,000, in an underwear venture. Spanx ended up becoming one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. She is another newcomer at $1 billion.
I admire these women and surprisingly one of them is below 30 which is very encouraging to know that you don’t have to be 30 and above to be a billionnaire. What i’m trying to say is do not let anything (esp the fact that as a woman you’ll get married) stop you from aiming for the top. There’s no traffic at the top so there’s enough room to accomodate everyone who’s willing to go the extra mile. You don’t have to be in Forbe’s list but you can achieve your goals and maximise your potentials to the best of your ability. Think differently, save and invest (i know we love to shop…i’m guilty of that too), try out a new business, go for that dream job you’ve always wanted. I’ll recommend a book that helped me – “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. A very important habit Steven mentioned is sharpening the saw – improve yourself continuously, if you have a B.Sc for 5years, start thinking of a masters or an additional professional certificate; if you’ve been on the same level in your job for almost 3 years then you need an upgrade of your skills. There’s always something better than where you are so don’t just accept the usual because you’ve gotten used to it. Don’t rely on him for all your needs because soon he will get tired and start complaining just like my colleague. You can rise above every label and limitation, I believe you can do it. Sharpen yourself both socially, intellectually, spiritually and otherwise; and he will sing your praises on the mountain top. If he is a gardener, he will want to be a part of your success and will naturally (without being asked) seek ways to support whatever it is you are doing. To be a highly effective person as a 21st century girl, you have to AIM FOR THE TOP. I’ll be there waiting for you (winks).