Tuesday, 26 June 2012

In search of the success manual ...

In the midst of a maternity break after 2 years juggling leadership of a rapidly growing tech start-up and a delightful but demanding toddler I started to muse (again) on the "just how do you possibly do it?" question.   I was pretty certain that I wasn't managing to combine my career and motherhood - at least in any way that made me or my daughter very happy - but if I've learnt anything from the software business it's that when you're struggling to solve a problem you can always find someone somewhere who's doing it better and smarter and who at best will share and at worst you can pillage from!

My biggest problem was that I was getting lost in the weeds of both management and motherhood. I needed the mentors, role models, inspiration - call it what you will - that could help me focus again on the big picture of where I was trying to get to and what I was trying to achieve.  From this started an exploration of the women who are succeeding at the very top of British business as directors of the UK's largest public companies.  I can't say I found the step-by-step success manual on being a mother and a business leader but what I did discover was hundreds of truly inspirational women - most of them mothers - who with determination, some tough decisions and great dollops of humour were succeeding at the top.

As a typically evangelical start-up addict, I couldn't help but get passionate about these women and start shouting about their success from the roof tops.  As a true tech geek I couldn't help but collect data on them.  and so started a curation on snip.it (like Pinterest but more serious) in which I curated images of all the women members of boards in the FTSE 350.  (Insomnia played it's part here for as every mother will recognise by the time your children can sleep through, you can't!)

From the collection came this blog in which I hope I can share the inspiration I have found in these women leaders - the CEOs, the finance directors, the chairs of boards, the vanguard women who paved the way for my generation, the up and coming exec directors, the increasingly large number of non-execs and those who have triumphed twofold as Black or Asian women on UK boards.

To view my curation of all the women currently serving on FTSE 350 boards click here:  .http://snip.it/collections/20317-Women-get-on-board-

Next blog ... the women at the top who are beating the FTSE ...

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