Today 8th March 2020 I would like to acknowledge and celebrate International Women’s Day.
Personally, for me today is about celebrating and paving a positive pathway for the two caring, creative, humorous and adventurous girls (7 and 10 years) that are growing into perceptive and curious young women in our house. This means helping them see their assets and surrounding them by others who can validate those assets, regardless if they fit the mold or not.
In my mind, the time has come to change the conversation from one of gender to one of strengths. The language of strengths gives cross-gender and cross-cultural power. You can be of value no matter where you are from or what gender you are for the strength that you innately have. However, the society we live in tends to value some strengths more than others, for example, what do those with a tendency for kindness or love, who go into nursing or teaching get paid compared to those who have a strength of judgment or leadership who may go into more corporate settings earn? Regardless, I have hope that with leaders such as Jacinda Arden role modeling her ability to bring a more diverse mix of strengths into play will inspire others to have the confidence to do the same.
The first step is knowing what your strengths are and then having someone validate those strengths in a way that shows you that they are useful and meaningful to the world. The validation gives the confidence to put those strengths into action, regardless if those particular strengths match the stereotype that has preceded them.
Our strengths that represent the way we are naturally hard-wired. They come naturally to us and using them give us energy, positively impact our wellbeing as well as our performance. As a dad at a recent workshop said to me “you mean I don’t just have to focus on making the #$%! parts of my child less #$%!”? The answer was YES! You can work a weakness however it will take a long time and a lot of dedication to change it. The more efficient route to increasing the performance and wellbeing of your child is to channel their strength in such a way that it compensates for their weakness.
If you are curious about what your strengths are you may like to take the free character strength test here: