Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held over 100 years ago in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.
All around the world, IWD represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.
This years theme is Make It Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.
Throughout this week leading up to IWD, we will be featuring some of our inspiring female speakers on our NSBlog.
Today we feature Kelsey Ramsden, Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur, two years running.
What does ‘making it happen’ mean to you and how have you implemented it in your career to date?
Making it happen – first, means knowing what you want and why you want ‘it’ …. then making ‘it’ happen is much more likely to come to fruition because the thing you are striving for is not an arbitrary goal. I went from founding and running a multi-million dollar construction business to coaching, writing and teaching about personal entrepreneurship….because my ‘it’ changed after having cancer and 3 kids. Making it happen starts with a ‘why’ that is clear and rooted so personally that giving up means ceasing to exist.
Gender-specific challenges you’ve faced in your chosen career?
A 28 year old woman starting a construction company – yes. I’ve never seen gender obstacles as negative. I’ve always seen them as an opportunity for disruption. We all know disrupting industries is where big value is created and it is how I took traditionally female ownership qualities and applied it to a mans business to grow a big and strong business.
Woman you’d like to thank but never had the chance?
I’d like to thank Maggie Thatcher for taking it on the chin and doing what she needed to do although it was unpopular and unfair for many.
What advice would you give a young female in your industry today?
Don’t worry about how a door gets opened or what others are thinking about you…get in the door and deliver results. Respect will happen when results are delivered. Until then, ignore the background noise of those who tell you you can’t, it is not possible or use words like ‘never’.
Who was your female role model & why/how did they empower you?
My mother. She did not finish high school but to this day, she takes on challenges and opportunities in life with a figure it out mentality. She has started successful businesses, run companies, raised children and done it all without any training (she did not even have a mother figure to look up to as her mom died when she was 8 years old). She empowered me because she always said – if you do something with integrity and intention I’ll be behind you all the way. Thank heavens for her belief in me and not the norm…..if she believed in the norm I would never have become the person I am or have been able to define success on my own terms.
What change in societies approach to gender equality are you most proud of?
I’m most proud when women who reach places they want to get to are recognized for their work in getting there with ought the word ‘woman’ in front of it. When the success of a female is highlighted because of the success, not because of the bra. When what we choose to remark upon is the result and not the gender. that is when the equality piece has happened in a way I am most proud of.
What is the biggest issue facing women in your industry today?
In construction the biggest issue is recruiting women, because they think it is a difficult or anti female environment. For coaching and training it is almost the opposite, the biggest issue is in it being ok to openly value traditionally female parts of all of our intelligence and use those traits toward getting results and success no matter gender you are.
For more on Kelsey, and how she can inspire your audience check out her Speaker Profile.
Other Speakers featured in our Hot Topics: International Women’s Day Include: