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A good time to be a girl by Helena Morrissey

My grandmother was a great storyteller – I loved listening to her stories. She grew up in a different society, worked hard her entire life, met my grandfather, married him, gave birth to three kids, and raised and loved them unconditionally. She also kept telling me, back then, everything she did seemed to be the logical next step because the options - her options, somehow, were limited.

Do you ever think that our generations of women have unlimited possibilities today, unlike our grandmothers? Society and the role of women changed in our favor – it’s time to appreciate it!

Many women keep telling me that they feel discouraged about their prospects, unfulfilled or conflicted in their multiple roles as mothers or women with careers…We constantly keep on fighting for equality and take so many things for granted but how many times do we sit down and appreciate the fact, how far we have come already in the last decades? Fact is: It is a good time to be a girl!

“A good time to be a girl” is a career book for women in a transforming world who don’t just want to lean in, but instead, shatter the paradigm as we know it. In this book, the founder of the worldwide 30% Club, Helena Morrissey sets out how we might achieve the next big breakthrough towards a truly inclusive modern society. She dedicated this book to her grandmothers, who did not have the opportunities we have today, and shows how, together, we can develop smarter thinking and broader definitions of success. Gender balance, in her view, is an essential driver of economic prosperity and part of the solution to the different problems we face today.

This book sets out a way to reinvent the game – not at the expense of men but in ways that are right and relevant for a digital age.

She states that the whole experience of her early days as a CEO was a very steep learning curve, with many moments of self-doubt before she emerged on the other side, older, wiser, and just possibly better at her job than she had taken a more conventional route to get there. She emphasizes that factors like self-awareness, meritocracy, and a supportive partner – made all the difference to her career and are highly relevant to young, ambitious people today.

Drawing on her experience as a City CEO, mother of nine, Helena’s manifesto for new ways of working, living, loving, and raising families is a powerful guide to success for us all – women and men. I recommend this book especially to those who don't see the many opportunities out there. Let’s end this book review with something that got me thinking:

What happens next is very much up to all of us – and that includes you!

About the author:

Helena Morrissey is a British financier and activist. She is chief executive of Newton Investment Management and set up the 30% Club to campaign for greater female representation on company boards. She is a trustee at the Eve Appeal, which raises money for gynecological cancers, and she is chairperson of the corporate board of the Royal Academy of Arts. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University. Morrissey is also the mother of nine children.

My favourite quote:

This is where you come in. To take advantage of today’s window of opportunity, to deliver on the early promise of more democratic, more equal power, we each have a part to play – CEOs, mid-careers managers, the next generation of young women and men as well as their parents and teachers. This is not “either/or” – either women learning in or businesses “fixing the system”, but about working together in a joined-up way. It’s about creating an ecosystem, an interactive, thriving community.
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