As I mentioned in my last post, I’m extremely lucky to be travelling for a few months in Europe. A standout of my trip so far is the Parthenon in Athens which dates back to 447 BC. The entire acropolis pays tribute to Athens' favourite goddess, Athena. As well as the Parthenon, there's several smaller temples including the Nike (victory) temple, acknowledging Athena's role as the goddess of war and wisdom. Despite 2,500 years and a gunpowder explosion, the Parthenon is still spectacular. In New Zealand, our oldest building was built in 1819 (it’s Kemp House in Kerikeri). That hardly even qualifies as “old” in Europe!
When observing these amazing buildings, I was struck with an unexpected sadness. It may have been the one-use headphones for the audio tour or the myriad of cheap souvenirs on offer, but the disposable nature of present day was starkly contrasted to the magnificent history I'd come to see.
While navigating the other tourists, I often wondered which modern buildings would survive for as long. Which would tourists and travellers flock to photograph (or record in virtual reality!) in the future?
And then I started pondering my own creative output. I work in tech marketing. Most of what I make is online. It’s read today, and lost into the ethos of internet obscurity tomorrow. While they say that nothing is ever really deleted from the internet, that’s not the same as creating something valuable that will endure.
I love the rate of change in of digital but I’d be surprised if anything I wrote (thus far) was still well read in 50 years, let alone 1,000 years.
For a couple of weeks I thought about changing careers and following my love of art. But drawing is a hobby to me. Deep down I’ve always known that if I was forced to draw, it would take all the fun out of it. And creating a masterpiece that would survive a 1,000 years? That’s the type of pressure that a perfectionist should avoid!
And then I came across this perfect Gloria Steinem quote:
"The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving."
(Hat tip to the amazing ladies behind The Women’s Collective for sharing)
Not everyone is an architect or an artist. My happy place is marketing and business. I believe we each do our best work when we’re in jobs we enjoy. So what small change can I do each day? I think Leading Ladies is an opportunity to improve the careers of women, and empower newcomers to the workforce. When I think about the greatest successes in my career, it’s people not campaigns that come to mind. I have the pleasure of seeing women who’s first jobs were in my teams, taking on the world. While I don’t wish to take credit for their hard work, I hope their first role helped fill them with confidence and enthusiasm. I hope as a leader, I helped them find their happy places, and do the work they loved.
It’s time we stopped seeing other women as the competition and start helping each other to succeed and be happier.
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women's voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg
So to you, I ask, what will you do each day that will make a change for the future?