It is a simple proposition, when it comes down to it; the future lies in the hands of each of us, and we must come together to drive change. It’s everybody’s responsibility to stand up and speak out for the future we want. We all have to openly engage diversity of opinion, insight and knowledge for the colour and magic it brings to our workplace and to our wider society; and to ensure we as individuals, and together, are walking the talk, and living and breathing the actions, behaviours and language of a future that is inclusive, forward thinking and evolving.
As we approach Father’s Day weekend, I wanted to personally thank those amazing men out there – the male champions of change who are fighting the good fight publicly – and those not-so-public champions leading from the front, challenging unconscious and conscious bias. These are the men who encourage us as women, and as fellow travellers on the road to success, to step up, stand in our spotlight and shine. They assist in opening the doors to sponsoring, enabling us to lean in.
These are the men embracing the value that diversity brings, and who know with every fibre of their being how vital it is to see things change.
We are making some headway in the western world, albeit too slowly for many of us given the woeful statistics. Equally, if we widen our lens for a moment to less developed economies, where the stories of female slavery, kangaroo courts and child brides are not going away, quite clearly, as a species, we still have a long way to go.
So I come back to my opening point. [inlinetweet prefix=”It is just us.” tweeter=”” suffix=”#dadsday15″]We must come together, we must work together, to drive change[/inlinetweet].
This is not about ‘them v us’, nor a ‘them or us’, or even a ‘them and us’.
It’s just us.
This is about us creating a future pipeline of leaders that inspires everyone to do more, and nurturing a generation to believe and accept both who they are and the role they have to play. It’s about us appreciating the unique value we each bring to the table irrespective of gender, race, age or sexual orientation.
It’s just us.
This Father’s Day, I want to thank all the amazing men in my life that continue to tell me they see more in me than I see in myself, the ones who have pushed me further than I ever thought possible, the ones who accept me for who I am, warts and all, the ones who embrace – without question – the value I bring, the thoughts I have, the opinions I make.
That means my wonderful husband and soul mate who rides this journey with me, picking me up and allowing me to fly, who has shown me a side of myself I previously never knew existed and who inspires, encourages, nurtures and protects our little unit of five. My two beautiful sons who brighten my day despite the endless nagging about daily chores, who make my heart sing at the future I can see; my brother raising his daughters to follow their dreams, to play sport as hard as any of them, to quite simply be who they are. And, of course, my amazing support crew of mentors, advisors and thought leaders, who continue to encourage myself and the women in their circles to own their space and become more.
Fathers, sons, husbands, uncles, grand-dads, friends – enjoy this Father’s Day. We all have a part to play now, and in the future, and for your continuing positive part in it, I thank you.
It takes a lot to be a family, but when you have to walk the path without one, you quickly realise just how much the ‘us’ means, and how valuable it is.
Let’s make sure we celebrate it.