Throughout my life I have had the pleasure of being alongside some incredible women. Some have sustained me through their friendship and love over the years whilst others were only passing through - yet still left a huge imprint on my heart or mind.
The first woman to inspire me outside of my own family was Margaret Mead (1901-78). Mead was a cultural anthropologist who lived and studied amongst the people of Samoa. Although a lot of work has since been heavily debated, this does not detract from the fact she was a pioneer of her time. This was a time when women were expected to adopt very different roles other than academia, travel, and living ‘wild’. However, it was her strength to flout societal norms that held her up as a role model to the 12 years child I once was.
Anthropologists today believe women are hard wired to form social networks and use social grooming (see Dunbar’s Theory of Social Grooming) to sustain these connections. It is theorised that the very survival of our young would have depended on other women looking out for your children whilst we were otherwise engaged hunting, gathering, building, protecting ( because of course we need to multi task).
I see the same survival patterns at play in the amazing women that are part of Venus. Not only are they often bringing up families, coping with elderly relatives, relationships, keeping a home together and making ends meet - they are also trying to cut their own path through the jungle of life. At times they may not follow established routes and societal norms, so just like Mead they are pushing back boundaries as they go. They are the pioneers of the future that little girls may look up to.
That is why I am so proud to be part of the Venus awards – it means I am part of a much larger network of pioneer women.
I will end this blog by thanking whoever it was who nominated me for the award and for Checkaprofessional.com for sponsoring this category as well as supporting the whole concept of inspirational woman. Well done Tara Howard for developing Venus by pushing back boundaries and forming a new trail for others to follow.