We just published the first episode of our new podcast! Listen to Female Leaders At 50 on Anchor https://anchor.fm/ciara-stokes/episodes/Lift-as-we-rise—Female-Leaders-At-50-e12cild
I recall being asked to write a short biography for when I worked as a Management Research Fellow back in my early forties. I had secured working with the fabulous Professor David Buchanan and his team at Cranfield Business School . The first thought was “goodness me what’s that for?” and “why would anyone want to read my biography” even if it was only 150 words. The second thought was I have nothing to say. I thought “I am not clever enough!” at the time I had not even started my Masters! I had the cold hand of doubt on my heart telling me I was not good enough. I plucked up my courage and spoke to David in his sunny, book filled office, suggesting it really would not matter if I didn’t write a biography and that I had no Masters or PHd to add to my name, I had left school and gone straight to work at 18 fully intending to plan for further education the following year and get a degree in social care but the weekly brown envelope with money soon drew me in and I started to work in retail deciding I did not really need that degree .
So now I was kicking myself that I had to write this biography of 150 words about myself for an international renowned business school. I was a bit stuck. The training courses I lapped up over the years and even the Diploma in Management Studies felt pre-school next to these great scholars and researchers I was now rubbing shoulders with. David sat me down, smiled and said :Why did we invite you as a manager to work on our research?”I blinked back at him waiting for the answer (he is a researcher and skilled interviewer can wait for answer), when I realised I had to provide it, I recalled and mumbled that at my interview he told he needed me as I had (at the time almost 20 years in experience in managemnt’.) “That’s correct Ciara and what have you managed?” he asked. “I have managed services within large complex hospitals, implemented service transformation and innovation…..I stopped. “This Ciara is your biography, describe what you do and what you have done. We have employed you to work with us based on your experience. We have the degrees, we have the PHds we do not have your workplace experience and in depth knowledge of hospitals. We need you”.
I finally wrote my 150 word biography. Lesson learned. I mattered, I had something others did not.
Over three years ago I set up the Female Leaders At Fifty network. Since it’s Inception sharing biographies of the women who are part of this network, writing blogs about women behind the network has been really key.
Feedback on these biographies and the blogs has been overwhelmingly positive.
However, when I suggest or ask some members that they too could present their biography or write a blog they respond by saying “oh no not me, I’m not interesting enough” or “oh haven’t you got anyone better than me ?”
In creating a Bio you are branding yourself, you are telling people
this is what I stand for
this is what I do
here is what I can offer you.
All the women within our network are talented , they are creative, they are beautiful and most of all they are smashing their glass ceilings, raising families , caring for their parents, studying, taking on physical challenges …. we are every woman.
So if you haven’t written a bio ever or in a long time – do it now, You will be amazed at what you have actually achieved and I’m sure you won’t be able to contain it in 150 words……,
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This year’s vision is to build the network, create a brand-new website, and develop it further so we can create groups of advisors and signpost you and future members to what you need or are interested in.