The World Has To Be Better Because You Were In It

The world has to be better because you were in it. 

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Lady Barbara Judge CBE, the Chairman of the Institute of Directors and recipient of the Forward Ladies 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, opened her last year’s Awards speech by telling the audience that having so many smart, successful (and nice) women all together in one room, celebrating each other’s achievements, was not just her own dream come true, but also that of her mother’s.

We heard the story of when, as a little girl, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered “an actress”. Lady Barbara’s mother had other ideas and encouraged her to be a lawyer instead.

She not just followed her mother’s advice, but went on to pursue a distinguished career both in the UK and USA, holding profile roles in the private, public and charitable sectors. Lady Barbara is the first female chairman of the Institute of Directors in its 114-year history.

“I’ve been on a lot of boards, and I’m always the one who puts a second or third woman on the board.

I never minded being a token because I always figured that you have to get to the table in order to make a difference.  If men get jobs because they play golf with each other, we should get jobs any way we can.” (A sentiment met with rapturous applause!).

Lady Barbra left us with her vision, “When asked what they want to be when they grow up, I want every little girl to say ‘I want to be the boss. The CEO, The chairman. I want to be what’s at the top.’

I don’t want them to say that they want to work for someone else. Maybe they will on their way up, but ultimately they have to be the boss. Tell them to apply for all the jobs they want, even if they’re not fully qualified.

A man will apply for a job if he has only 1 of the ten required attributes. A woman won’t apply unless she has eight. A woman will say ‘this is what my experience was’. A man will say ‘this is what I could do’.

Answer the ad – you can’t win the game unless you buy a ticket!”

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Forward Ladies’ mission is to support and encourage women to follow their dreams, achieve their goals – and make the world a better place.

Join Forward Ladies at one of our monthly Power Business Breakfast Clubs, which are held in cities across the UK. For full details see HERE.

Details of all of the phenomenal winners of the awards – women who are shattering glass ceilings, showing that dreams do come true and proving that a woman’s place is in the boardroom, or wherever else she chooses to be – can be found HERE.

Why not celebrate your success by nominating yourself for an award? Nominations for the Forward Ladies 2018 National Awards are now open – for more details see HERE.