Allowing My Most Authentic Self to Rise

by Anni Poole @AnniPoole #PledgeForChange

Standing to face each new dawn – the rise of authenticity for every woman.

As women or as #HeForShe supporters, I am pledging my support for the celebration of authenticity in our lives. It's more than OK to be wholly ME!

I have had three major setbacks in my career. The first was having my children, the second becoming divorced and the third becoming a main carer for my Father. Each time, a male leader came to cast disapproval or judgemental opinions over me, shake his head and watch me leave my profession. I wish I had been more able to stand up and be fully seen as the fabulous female leader I know I am. But I was hesitant and felt truly overwhelmed by managing so many spinning plates and not being my usual 300%. Those are the two clues.  I now realise it could have been so different, I can see some changes happening around mat leave and in relationships, though they are still slow.

If only I had had someone around me who had both supported and celebrated my individuality, all of it, and had shown me my true choice, celebrated my motherhood, womanhood, my vulnerability in caring so much .

My overwhelm is juggling life when the call home to family is momentarily out of balance and stronger than the call to work, it would have been wholly supportive. We do not make our greatest choices when we feel under pressure – whatever the cause.

I cannot yet see enough change or support of those of us who thought our only choice was in giving up our career- where we might have been supported. At my most vulnerable times, facing years of hospital visits, Mum dying and the final diagnosis of my Dad’s dementia turned my life upside down .I felt the weight upon my headship because it was pointed out to me. And although it impacted me greatly, it has given me the strength to be more me!

Each major event in my life has meant a reroute, a detour back to where I used to be. A setback when I least needed it. It called me to be that most authentic voice to stand tall for other women.

And I hereby pledge to be there, at every sunrise, to stand up for women in the workplace, to help them to be the most authentic natural and true self possible, enabling them to make their best choices possible.  


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