So I’ll make a confession, as a young girl I was highly competitive. I know in today’s society, and particularly in schools this is a little taboo now, but I always wanted to do the best possible job I could. I hated it when someone was above me in Maths, for example, and it drove me to go home and work to overtake them, again something else I get from my Dad, please see my previous blog.
I remember at primary school, I was always organising the school dance display, (I do still feel sorry for the teachers that had to sit through this), and organised what we would do at playtime.
To this day I remember some teachers saying, ‘Anouska, stop being so bossy’. I knew what I thought would be good fun, and was explaining this, what that bossy?
Something that still sticks with me is that I never heard, and in fact rarely hear now, someone calling a boy or man bossy.
Today, it is much more about how I perform, the enjoyment I get from working with other people, and the results we can all achieve, although I will secretly admit I still have a drive to succeed!
Now as a working Mum with 2 small children, and with one of each sex, I really think about my role, and the impression I am leaving with them.
My children see me leave for work each morning, but I have explained why. My little boy can now recite why Mummy goes to work, ‘to pay for our food, our house and my toys’!
With both my children I consciously look to use the same language. When either of them are being demanding, yes they are bossy. When they are being assertive in the right way, I applaud this.
So it got me thinking, if we want gender equality in the workplace, lets use the same language to explain behaviours from when our children are young. ‘Bossy boots’ can apply to both boys and girls, so lets ensure our children see, and hear, this!