A few months ago I attended a Women like us event in Geneva. I was unsure of how the talk I was going to give would be received, I need not have worried. My discussion with the attendees was amazing, all of us in that room had many things in common when it came to both our personal and professional lives.
My life and career, like many other women’s, is complicated and has been fraught with successive barriers, mostly non work related.
I wanted to pass on examples of the events which led to where I am now and just how much every woman is capable of over-coming, in both her personal and professional life.
Unlike many women, 35 years ago, I always wanted my career to come first and pushed myself to be the best I could be in work. I got married and had two children but I worked through pregnancy and maternity leave and my then husband became a house husband. This was very unusual back in the 90’s.
As my career progressed and we moved around the UK, the relationship disappeared and eventually we divorced. At this point I got custody of the children and had to manage them alongside my career. Definitely a challenge.
However bad this was at times, we all survived and as a family team we worked round every occasion and barrier. It just shows that we can all pull on our inner strength to get through the difficult times. I became Head of Finance in an Insurance company, whilst being a single parent.
Since then I have progressed to CEO of Ardan International, what an amazing opportunity to work on both Finance and Technology. However life can still be difficult and two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, with support of my new husband and work, I continued with my career as I received treatment. I am now in remission and still love my job and this year I celebrated 35 years of service with the Group.
So many women have similar experiences and most feel like they are the only ones going through this, but they are not alone. Always try and reach out and talk to others and you will find you are not alone.
The Women like us network helps you to get in contact with people who can help and mentor you through your challenges.