Friday, 10 September 2010

Being a woman in business and the need for bullet proofing!

A very long time ago, I was persuaded by a friend to join a pistol shooting club in London - this was in the days when such things were allowed!   My friend persuaded me by telling me that 'they are new and they don't have any lady members... probably because women are too scared to hold a gun!'  Of course, this was a calculated comment that had the desired effect, and I soon became a regular and, in time, a crack shot (also helped by the fact that the instructors were devilishly good looking which encouraged me to practice!)  

My ability to jump in where others have feared to tread, whilst sometimes mad, has put me in good stead as I have made my way up the 'woman in business ladder', and particularly the PR world (and, actually, there have been several occasions where I have thought about a bit of target practice along the way...!).   However, whilst being able to take out an enemy at 100 paces might be useful in my own head, it is the need to wear a bullet proof vest that has been one of the biggest lessons to learn.

The Czech Republic has never been an easy place to start up a business... there are all sorts of reasons for that which I wont even go into here.  But for a woman, in such a male chauvanistic world, it definitely helps to find a way to grow a thick skin (or suit of armour) as, as my own mentor told me a long time ago, the minute you are perceived as being successful, there will be people out there who will want to attack you, even if they don't know you... and how right he was.

Of course men get attacked as well but in a very different way.   There are not many days that go by without my saying (or thinking) 'would they have said that/done that if I was a grown up, suited up, reasonably successful business man in this same position?'.  Probably not.   So what can we do?

Well, first of all, it is always useful to have a lawyer as a partner!   That tends to work when things get really nasty!    But, otherwise... I think I might just write my best ten tips in another Blog...



1 comment:

  1. An inspiring entry - thanks! As another woman in business in CZ, I'm looking forward to your ten tips. Jeanne