Proud to do this with three women who inspire me and who I’m proud to call my friends - Lavinia Thanapathy, Sally Foley-Lewis and the wonderful Kerrie Phipps.
If you missed the #Thislittlegirlisme campaign, I expect you’re not spending much time on social media lately 😊. An idea by Inspiring Girls International, I wanted to understand this campaign more, discuss why International Day of the Girl Child has never been more important, and I also wanted to bring inspiring ladies together, so we can speak to girls (and women) around the world, as well as the great men, because we’ve got some work to do to overcome divisions and build a better future for all living beings. However we’ve got to prioritize getting the girls bit right! It’s beyond time.
I asked Lavinia to join, because she’s been a real driver of the #Thislittlegirlisme campaign around the world, but especially in Asia, as well as Sally Foley-Lewis and Kerrie Phipps, because I loved both of their contributions to the campaign.
All four of us are so different in many ways, but often the experiences of being a girl, and how that impacts you as you grow into a woman, aren’t that different at all. We really hope you enjoy our conversation and take away a nugget that helps you build the life you want.
You can find more on all of us at our Websites
Lavinia Thanapathy https://laviniathanapathy.com/
Sally Foley-Lewis https://www.sallyfoleylewis.com/
Kerrie Phipps https://kerriephipps.com/
Some references discussed
Hi, it's Andrea Edwards Welcome to uncommon courage the podcast where we have the conversations we need to be having to get our world on track and moving forward in the future. Yesterday, the 11th of October was International Day of the Girl child. And this is a critical day at a critical time just to give you a feel for some of the news that's been breaking since the pandemic began the lockdown, so resulting in an alarming rise in modern slavery. The COVID pandemic has shown increasing inequalities for the education of analysts and girls. And we all know that education is what really makes a difference in moving societies out of deep poverty, there's 10 million additional girls at risk of child marriage due to COVID. And there is a great risk that the progress made in the last 20 years will be reduced to nothing as equality slips back by generation. And of course, we saw gender based violence around COVID-19 reach extraordinary levels. So it's been a tough couple of years for girls and for women around the world. And I wanted to bring some people who inspire me together just to talk about it, and also to talk to the girls out there in the world, and hopefully give them a message of hope. So here we go. So I am super excited to introduce you to three very, very, very dear women in my life, women that I admire, I love the work that they do. They're out there on stages, they're changing the world or in their own way. And I love that and that is living in a ton of Kathy, Sally Foley Louis and Carrie Phipps. I thank you ladies because we organize these really quick and I really appreciate you all taking the time. So let me know if you want to kick off with just a quick introduction and look around so everyone knows who you wonderful people are. I thank you so much, Andrea. I'm Lavinia ton of Pepe. And I'm here today because the International Day of the NGO and three years ago, I met a fantastic lady called Miriam Gonzalez in London. I was in London for another event, and I met her and then I brought inspiring girls, which is the network that she founded to Singapore three years ago, and inspiring girls with the network that's running that this little girl is me campaign at the moment in the run up to today. And that's what I'm doing here today. Nice, Sally. Yeah, I'm Sally folly Lewis. I'm a professional speaker who helps managers move or improve. And I was inspired by a colleague who posted in this campaign. And it took me all of about three seconds to say, this is not about me, even though this is about me. So I wanted to put my experience out there so that it would hopefully resonate most. And carry. Thank you, Andrea, well, I am here because I was on a call with Lavinia and yourself I think with Asia professional speakers, and Lavinia was asking us to share our stories. Now I'm a coach, speaker and author of a number of books, including do talk to strangers, how to connect with anyone, anywhere, and how to talk to strangers. So people make these assumptions that I'm confident that I just, you know, love talking to people and an extrovert. And I've really, these books that I've written, are learning for me, you know, I'm learning from my own books, I'm learning from the people that I meet all the time and overcoming, you know, a sense of inadequacy and intimidation. And, you know, coming from a place of isolation and bullying, and I, yeah, I saw this and like, Sally is like, Oh, it's not about me, I need to share this, I need to share my story if it's going to be useful for somebody else, because like you, I don't want to just jump on a bandwagon. And I don't usually jump on with all the hashtags. But I just felt like, Oh, this is timely, because I'm, I'm needing to push myself out of the comfort zone, I'm meeting to share more of my stories, because of the questions that people ask me the assumptions they make. And you know, I just think it's so useful for us to be able to get really honest and own our stories. And you've been a great encourager in that to Andrea over the last few years. Yeah, I mean, I think I look at the four of us, we're not doing what we do, because we've got an ego that's driving us we're doing what we do, because we really do want to see the world become a better kinder, more gentle a place for men and for women, right? It's not just a women's issue. It's all of us. You know, I always say equality is good for everyone. Because when true equality isn't actually a women's issue. It's a it's an everyone's issue. Because if men are free to have different choices of women are free to have different choices, then that's the starting point to creating a better world, right? We don't want to create a world where the matriarch rises, and men fall because that's not going to work and we don't want patriarchy to be at the top anymore. And women fall because that doesn't work. So let's get it together and sorted out all right, and anyway, so Lavinia because you're the lady that has the most insight on this. Give us some background on why This little girl with me is all about. And obviously on these International Day of the Girl child, let's have a look at where we are because we've actually slipped back a lot when it comes to moving towards equality. And literally, it breaks my heart where we are and you know, from Afghanistan, what's going on there, we all rise together, you know, and humans just seem uniquely stupid in getting that message. Right? I couldn't agree with you more. When you were saying, you know about girls and boys and men and women and trying to have them, what we're trying to do is actually reduce the imbalance in power. And the more we reduce that imbalance and power, anyone who has power will misuse it at some point. So what we're trying to do, I think, mostly is trying to really close that gap to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities that they have the same chances to be good and bad. Yeah. So you know, you see that with women leaders were expected to be perfect in every which way, in order to get ahead, you have to be so extraordinary and every friend were mediocre men have no problem doing this all the time. Like the International Day of the Girl child has only been around for about 10 years, I think it started that the Declaration was I think, in 2011. So it is it's 10 years, inspiring girls is a network that was set up by Miriam Gonzales, particularly to help ensure that girls get access to role models. You know, when I started working on inspiring girls network, I had a little boy, so have the little boy. And he looked at me and says what about the boys and I said, it's called the world child, the world, the world is for you. This is specifically to address the inequalities that go still feel in the world. And they don't have access. Even if you come from relatively privileged background, you don't necessarily have access to the role models that you might need to have a really broad outlook on what your future might look like. So that's what the inspiring Gulf network does. So before COVID, we used to have networking meetings, like speed dating, but speed mentoring, and we would bring golf together with female mentors in a room and the girls could ask the mentors, anything they liked, it wasn't a long term mentoring, it was like, here's access to all these amazing women, and you get to ask them all the questions that you want to ask them. And that's what we would do. We do like speed mentoring. And then we started a network of videos, so women would, you can too. So there's an online video library to guarantee inspiring Gulf website, you can join and record your own video. And this year, this is fantastic idea to share women's stories. The idea is that girls get to read these stories, and other women get to read these stories. And we feel less alone. Because many of us even today are still pioneering, we're still one of a few are one of the first, we're not part of any huge community, right, most of us and in many different fields. And also to close the digital gap for girls, ensuring more girls go into STEM that there are more women with access to technology that they need to create entrepreneurial path, especially in the developing world. It's still today, you know, one in four girls, can you imagine today 21, one in four girls aged 15 to 19. And not in education. That number for boys is one in 10 to 25% of the girls in the world, quarter of the Gulf in the world 15 to 19 and not in education. So we need we need to work on these things. But we need to work on it with positivity. And with women participating in this we're not trying to fix women, I think that's what I'm so tired of in the last 10 years. We're constantly creating systems to fix women, we need to fix the system. The systems are the problem. This is an entire world of work created from the industrial revolution that suits the lifespan of a man, it does not take at all any consideration the lifespan of a woman. If we did women and men would not have the same retirement age women live 10 years longer. We need a gap in the middle when we need to raise children. And instead we penalize women for these for these gaps. And we don't allow them to catch up later on. Then there's this massive income gap that keeps multiplying for women compounding. So we don't take into account at all the woman's lifespan, we have a system entirely built on a man's life, a man's lifespan a man's working life. And so we need to change these things. We need to change the way we look at it. And as we change it, we will start to see positive and virtuous changes throughout our system. So this is what the whole campaign is a brown it's about showing Gulf look, all these possibilities. All these women with all kinds of different lives in different career paths with children without children with big families with small families with a lot of education with less education, who started in a slum who started with rich parents it didn't matter at all allows us different career paths and different possibilities. And so can I tell you that my favorite one has been actually it was just posted yesterday. It was 20 hours ago and it was posted by the former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. It is absolutely brilliant. The only way you will know what you are capable of achieving is by trying and sometimes failing. But then trying again, as you move through life, not everyone will like you or what you are trying to achieve. But that's okay. I love it. I love this. I wish I had known this when I was 16 1718 I wish I had known this. Not everyone will like me and that's okay. I hope that was a good introduction to what we've been trying to do. Yeah, no, it's great. I mean, there's so many aspects to what you just said there like the fact that the world has been designed around men's length of life. I think it's such an interesting insight. I've never heard anyone put it quite that way. Of course, because all actually all around the world. Women in their retirement years are slipping into poverty as it's being seen in Australia. And I was just reading one about America that Francis McDormand Yeah, she her movie that she did, where she's in the trailer. Did you guys watch that movie? No, but another one. It's not homeless. It's houseless or something? Yeah, seriously, watch it. It's everyone in the movie is living that life. So she made them the actors, but it's a very insightful movie about what it's like, there's a generation of people that are, you know, they work all their lives. And then at the end of their lives, there's nothing left but especially for women. So there's no social safety net, basically, for for the elderly, in Asia, if it will take care of their elderly, not all the time. But the majority of people take on that obligation, right. But yeah, I thought that was really interesting. But the other concept about seeking female mentorship, you need women in in the top fields to actually be able to find the female mentor. And you don't always have that. But the other thing is the way work has been designed isn't necessarily suitable, though. So when I was young, I wanted to be a CEO. And then as I got older, I realized I didn't want to be a CEO, because Why the hell would I want to subject myself to that, why I watch the senior executives that I watched how they work, their calendars, they just non stop, I don't want I just went I don't want that I want freedom. So I actually think we need to redesign work as well. And we need to do all this anyway. Because we need to build a new world. It's a good time, right? That gives me hope. What about you guys? What was your takeaway from what Lavinia was just saying, selling? I absolutely, totally agree with that whole concept of putting the human in the center. But my risk with that is comes back to what Lavinia was saying, as we are fixing women. Sometimes if we put the human in the center, we then sometimes think we have to fix the human. Well, that's not actually what that means. It means when we think about the system, let's start with the human in that moment. And I absolutely think that to me, as a campaign, and one of the things that I did actually feel hesitant about is, and I'll be straight up, I thought, was my story bad enough to be shared? And then I thought, No, my story is my story, you know, and it is what it is. And so I love that this campaign, it doesn't matter your socio economic background as a matter your size, your color, your creed, your race, your religion, your economics, your location, you have a story, and it won't be for everyone. And I love that as well. Because I often say to the people I work with, you're not going to be for everyone. So get over yourself. You know, I'm pretty blunt, some days, but you are for someone, you are not for everyone, but you're for someone. Yes, yeah. And I think that one of the things I found interesting was, even though I shared this girl as me on LinkedIn, I did decide to share it with my email list. And so it went out today to everyone on my email list. And I actually made the comment at the bottom saying, I'm not sharing this to impress you, I'm sharing this to impress upon you how important you are. And that, you know, you're not average, you've got a story to tell. And one of the interesting things that I've observed since posting this story is all the comments that the adults have come back with. And even though this is about inspiring, and building the confidence in girls that I know those stories will get to girls. It's interesting how many adults have commented. And then that got me thinking about isn't it interesting how many stories that we may have, that we're holding on to when we want to engage more with the people around us? And the opportunity is right there. Yeah. Gary? Yeah, as I mentioned earlier, I've been feeling challenged to share, you know, my story or stories, and I've always found it really challenging when people say, you know, so what's your story, you know, and as a speaker, you know, got to share your story. And it's like, there's actually so many but just recently, things have come up, like, you know, thinking about fear and doing a post about that and reflecting on getting a needle when I was in year seven when I was 12 years old, you know, and, and the atmosphere of fear and anxiety and people around me, and you know, even sharing that post, I was surprised at the people's responses, and yet often it was parents saying thank you, I'm going to share this with my kids and you know, that really helped me and so when Lavinia mentioned this, I just went, yeah, can't go share but like Sally, you know, is my story kind of dramatic enough or bad enough? You know, I had an amazing upbringing on a farm with great parents, but we diminish our stories and I've seen Isn't recognize it. And so when I help other people who have also been diminishing their stories, because there is value in our story, some people will relate to it more than others, but those who relate are so grateful and that's what's really blowing me away. And often it is the ordinary moments and the you know, Sally is the wedding her story that I read this morning, you know about being average or feeling average. And I read Yeah, I relate to that, or, you know, feeling below average all the time. And it's this comparison trap that we can all fall into in so many different ways. So just to share our story and our reflecting on exploring a story can be really helpful for people to not compare themselves to, but to realize, you know, this is different insights for everybody. So I want to invite people to, you know, read other people's stories, not to compare yourself but to see the lessons and I love what Olivia just shared of Julia Gilad story, you know, not everyone's gonna like you. And that's okay. That's something that it took me probably 35 years to realize. I mean, I knew that people didn't like me, but to realize that they never will. And that's okay, just let that go. Because if I just show up as myself, that's all I need to do. And that's absolutely liberating. But we get ourselves in knots trying to keep people happy, and it just destroys our own happiness. You know, I think one of the things that I am very grateful for with my upbringing, my sister and I were the first females born into my dad's side of the family for generations. So a lot of the focus actually was more on the girls in our family than my brothers so they didn't necessarily benefit from that but we weren't raised to seek approval from anyone, not even our own parents, none of us were and you know, when I say my childhood was wild and free, it really really was so but one of the things that I consistently see especially coming out of the country like Australia is a lot of the young girls are raised with very very, very low self worth and it seems to be in the education system when I was in the army I had to do basic training right so there was male and female recruits and the process of the training is to break it down and build you up but with the boys they broke them down and built them up and then they released into their jobs in the military with the girls they broke them down and didn't build them up again. And I found that a really really interesting experience because they couldn't break me they tried there was this male surgeon that just hated me but in the end he liked me but they just constantly broke us down and didn't build us up and I think self worth in young women is a huge issue that we need to be addressing but then in Asia there is another side you know because I've lived in traveled around the world and I'd say in the UK I'd say in the US it's the same as in Australia but in Asia I find that the pleasing the pleasing the parents pleasing the family honoring the culture you know, that sort of thing seems to be more prevalent I do think girls have more self worth and I was reading an article about how we try to focus on too much on self worth and in Asia the focus is very different to the Western sort of countries but pleasing people being a good girl you know, is a problem and I think we've just got a really got to stand back and look at how we're raising our girls so that we can empower them although one interesting side note the most well balanced and powerful women I've ever met were raised in communist countries and I find when I first started to uncover that I was amazed by it because the communist regime is all about everyone's got an opportunity everybody's equal everybody contributes so yeah so the women with the less voices and the negative narrative in their head tend to be raised in communist countries so I found that pretty interesting. Did you guys agree with the self worth and pleasing of the culture because living in your your in Germany now but you are a Singaporean lady through and through? Absolutely, I think I think it's everywhere. I think the idea of people pleasing, it's more in line with Asian culture but I've met people from all countries all kinds of women who have been concerned about pleasing and about about being light it's one of the things that holds us back a lot and even when we know better we know intellectually better but it's very hard to move that into behavior until you see other women doing it that's the most that's the only way to shift it is if you've seen other women not care and still be okay and still survive not have to look perfect not have to be perfect not have to fill all the roles and still be okay. And that's what's so powerful about this campaign that there are women who are doing all kinds of things whether they are they're entrepreneurs like us or whether they're in corporate roles, whether they're now in retirement or whatever it is that they're doing in politics, any kind of role and they've done it their way in a still okay and that is the powerful motivator it doesn't matter you can be you can tell people you can show them as many statistics as you like that it's okay not to people please It's a better for you, it's better for your confidence. It's the way out of you can tell people till the cows come home, nothing will change until they see it until they see it and they see other women like them, you know, in January, just released a book right? What was so powerful about that is for a generation, an entire generation of Indian women. She was finally someone who looked like us. was making it in the world and making it in the world in a way that really held true to who she was, do it turn up for awards in a sarrish. And it made a difference. You know, it was so amazing to finally see. And this is when I decided you just, this is my natural hair, I have curly hair, and it's naturally curly. And there always has been, I spent an entire lifetime trying to look like everyone else by having nice, straight shiny hair. And that was about my post, my post was around this because I went to school in Singapore, where everyone has straight black shiny hair. And I actually have very dark brown, and it's not quite black curly hair. And the teachers would just they would not believe this was my natural hair. They just in the other time when I went to school, they would not believe it, my parents had to go to school and tell them, this is my hair, it's a real hair. And I would have to pull it back and tie it down. And you know, make sure and someone actually commented on it. When I wrote my story, it was about my curls and accepting it. It wasn't really about hair at all. It was just accepting who you are the way you are just turning up in the world. And someone got really upset with me because I had so many views of my posts. And yes, I am a LinkedIn top voice. And so yes, my post got pushed out a lot. And so someone commented on a day in which the Larry Nasser trial is coming to an end, why are you posting about hair with all this audience that you have and this powerful campaign? Why would you do that? And as you know, all stories have a place in the world. My story was about acceptance. And yes, I've been very lucky. I had a fantastic education. I come from a country that's very easy, successful in many ways. I don't have this big trauma for my life. But what it was is everyone's trauma is different. It's not always about abuse. It's not always about segregation. It's not always about discrimination. It's not always about gender. It's not always about any one thing it's not about educational socio economic background, it's never any one thing but whatever your story is, whatever your pain is, it has a space in the world because we all have pain and it doesn't matter what where your pain is coming from it's you're allowed to express it the way you want to and so sorry important not accepting who you are. And look at me I'm raised in Australia, the stereotypical Australian has my coloring, right? So I didn't have to deal with any of that, like I fit in based on what everyone thinks and Australian is even though the vast majority of Australians do not have blond hair and blue eyes, they have you know, the some of the oldest cemeteries in Tasmania, Chinese because they came for the gold rush. So the multiculturalism of Australia is rarely been I think more and more today, maybe I don't know you guys are there. I've been away for 25 years Australia's not the country I left 25 years ago, but I think when you grow up when you're not outside of the stereotype, it kind of makes life a bit easier. But I don't know, because I haven't been outside the stereotype with what you're sharing. You sort of were talking about it a bit more before Sally, what was the message that you really wanted to get across when you shared your this little girl is me post. I think sometimes that when we aren't a supermodel or we didn't you know, we've got an aspiration of achieving a height and mine was always about sport. I was never about looks, but it was definitely about sport I had there was a visceral feeling whenever I hit a netball court that I would be the captain of the Australian netball team one day, and it was so real and vivid for me. And I was a very good netball. You know, I played, you know, some representative levels, and I did quite well. But I did not make the Australian team captain, you know. And so when I had this moment, it was a defining moment in my netball, Korea in inverted commas, where I was made to realize that I'm in the average, when you look at the bell curve of it, I was right smack bang in the middle. And, you know, I dispute that I was a little bit towards the upper end, but I was still in the, you know, I was still in the average. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Number one, but also number two, how it washed over me was the issue for me, I let everage wash over me in every facet of my being and no then played on in my behaviors in my approach to most things. So one of the things that I think is really important is that we get to choose when we realize that it's a choice. You know, I didn't realize it was a choice, I was probably quite young. But once I realized that I'd had chosen that then I then have more choices. I don't need to actually stay with that choice. And I did some work, I got some great mentors, I am average at some things. I am not going to be the best at everything no one ever will be and we need to stop thinking as though we will be but and that's okay, because I'm exceptionally good at some things and I'll own those. And the other thing is if there's something that's so important to me, then I've got a choice about how I can go about achieving that. You know what I didn't share in that post was that that I didn't really like the classroom and I really liked the outdoors. That those element of school but actually I failed English in high school I probably because I didn't show up much. And probably because you know, Australian is my first language rather than English, you know, that old chestnut. But you know, I've written five books now. And I've had one of those books endorsed by Brian Tracy, who is, you know, a little bit of my guru in the old personal professional development world. So to be able to do that, and also know that it's okay to be average with some things. And also know that if you want to, you can work towards it, and you can make a choice. And I think that's probably one of the underlying messages is you have a choice, it's up to you to make that decision, and that making a decision can sometimes be really difficult, but the decision is there for you to make it. I had no idea about the nipple, tell me something called paper and guard defense. I was a legend. My I was always bringing a question. I was always winging attack, but I couldn't, couldn't take it seriously, but I loved it. It's most aggressive game. And it's a lot of fun. And most people think it's a girly game. When you play with the boys, they finally realize that netball is a serious game. I think when you have a dream, and you get to the point where one day you accept that that dream is not possible. And that can happen for many, many, many different reasons. There's still so many gifts in the journey of moving towards the dream, you know, the teamwork, what you've learned, there's so many skills and stuff, but then the day that you have to say, okay, that's not going to be a possibility. Now I need to build some new dreams. What's your advice to people who are going to especially young girls who might be hitting that point of saying, I wanted to do this my whole life, but now I can't? What's your advice to them? There's always an option around that. And so let's stay with netball as the metaphor, right? If you can't be on the court, you know, with the bib on Then how about you be on the court as the umpire? How about you be on the court as the coach? How about you focusing on a skill and be a skill expert coach? And how about you help out that whole club in some form? Or fashion? How about you give back to the young girls coming through and maybe be a juniors manager or juniors coach, how about you look at ways in which you can support that club in its own development, so you can still stay connected to that passion. And then if we want to take it a whole other level, so you know, from my own experience, where I realized I wasn't going to be you know, the captain of the Australian team, it would took a while. That's the truth of the matter took a while. But when I learnt and reflected back on my netball career, I was funny, I was the one that usually kept the team together, I was the one that if something went wrong in a play, it was like regroup. Let's go, we've got this lever behind. I was the cheerleader on the court, I was the one that pushed everyone. So I lead from behind in a lot of ways. And that has served me in every other facet of my world. And I'll be your loudest cheerleader, and I am loud. And I therefore I'm not for everyone. But when I now work with other leaders and managers, I am their loudest cheerleader. And that's the thing, plug all the skills that you got, right? If you could be a female sports journalist, she could become an expert in raising money for the club and then become a charity fundraiser. I mean, there's so many different paths, right? And it's about, it's just about looking at all the different skills that you've got and saying, Well, what are the possibilities? And that's where the mentorship comes in. When people can say you've got to I mean, you could have been a stand up comedian, I know you've been on stage. You've done it once. Right? But you're funny. Alright, Carrie, but what about you? What were you trying to get across? Well, I think one key part of my story is that the words of others don't have to dictate your future. So, you know, words that were spoken over me, you know, from an early age from my parents was, you know, absolute belief. And you know, dad would have me jumping off trucks and off the roof. And, you know, he would like say, jump, and I'll catch you. And he taught me to, you know, take risks and be adventurous. But I didn't feel that I was treated any differently to my brothers. Like, I wasn't, there wasn't this awareness, like, but you're a girl. So that wasn't an issue. But at school, it was like, you're the ugliest girl at school, you can't do this, you can't do that. And I mean, to the point that I was married for probably seven years before I would spend a day with my husband without makeup on. It's like having no makeup on, you know, cuz I'm ugly. And I'd wake up every morning with him just looking at me, like, you know, millimeters from my faces going, Oh, you're so beautiful. I'm like, Wash, wash. It's not what I knew of myself. So it's so important that we pay attention to who are we listening to? You know, I shared moments in that story on LinkedIn and Facebook, about moments where I was told you can't, you know, you're not going to be able to work for five or 10 years, you know, you can't work you're not well enough, you're going to be the last person in this class to get a job. And so hearing people say things that were so damning, rose up this determination to prove them wrong. And I've also had so much encouragement. And you know, Andrew, I've acknowledged you so many times for the encouragement that you've given me but I literally am alive today because of the encouragement of others that when I didn't believe in myself when I saw no hope for my future, others believed in me and others encouraged me and so I'm really passionate about Sharing encouragement, and realizing that just some small encouragement can make a massive difference. So we just needed he was so aware of the power of words, and what do we listen to, because they really can shape our direction. And we need to learn to listen to ourselves. And you know, back to the mentor conversation, to have people in our lives who help us listen to ourselves, not just mentors who will tell us their story and how they did it. But mentors who will help us to listen to the quiet voice within that's super important. The voice within Yeah, whether negative or positive, or you know, I'm a big believer, you've got to trust in your own counsel, or that's one of my chapters in my book. And it's something for some reason I got that message earlier. But the same time the negative comments also gave you power. Yes, you know, and without that power, you might not be doing what you're doing today. So seeing the gift in everything, including the bad stuff. I think, if you can, you don't get trapped in it, and being stubborn and saying, Well, I'm going to prove you wrong. I've always been, you know, people say to me, oh, Andrew, you're going to do this and like, hey, you're right, I'm going to do the opposite. Because just because you said that, you know that's a quality that I've always had, like, yeah, knowing your own mind, trusting your own mind. Let's go around and just give tips for hopefully, for young girls, often mothers of daughters, or fathers of daughters, let's come up with some tips that can help you know so because they want more women rising up in the world give you an example. There's a lot of social media groups, especially on Facebook, where they use the term bitches in the title and the women refer to each other as bitches. Hey, bitches, how you doing? And I have to tell you something, I cannot stand that word. But I really can't stand women referring to themselves as bitches, because I actually find it really disempowering. And it plays into a narrative that isn't a positive way forward. And you know, we're me, too, was such an important moment. For us. I think a lot of it's being pushed into a place, it's actually creating more division, rather than the healing that when it first started, the promise was there. So but on the other side, you know, we don't want men feeling disempowered and scared. And at the beginning, I'd said, I'm very concerned about where me two could go. Because when you bring a pandemic into the mix, you got angry, fearful, scared men, we could potentially be heading towards something so much worse than that we've got today. So how do we at least help the women and the girls to rise so that we can heal our world, we surely needed who wants to start three tips I'm happy to jump in with the first one is and it's just backing on to what you were saying, Andrea? And I am by no means perfect at this, and I am a work in progress happily. So just being mindful of our language. And so you know, to your example, you know, is what I'm saying empowering the space? Or is it draining the space? Or is it actually not serving the space that I'm in right now, be it people or purpose. So I think that thing about our language is really important. And I have just my nephew, it was few years ago, now he pulled me up on something that I was saying, and I didn't realize it, it I had no mal intent in it. But I have to say to such a young boy, how proud I was of him to actually call out an adult. And I actually said to him, You know what, mate, I am so proud of you for bringing that to my attention. And I'm going to change myself. So thank you. So you know, kudos to his mum for giving him that space to be able to do that. So our language is one. The second one is something that I learned on a leadership program many years ago, where the facilitator said you cannot hate the person whose story you know, and I'll just repeat that you cannot hate the person whose story you know. And I think campaigns like this one, this little girl is me and inspiring girls international and sharing those stories. People come out of the woodwork and say I had no clue. I had no clue that was your, you know, your journey. And that just breaks down so many barriers in so many ways. And I think the more that we can tell our stories, the more that we can allow people just that little bit more into our world, then that breaks down those barriers. And it helps us to build trust and helps us to build those connections and have better robust conversations. And then the third tip, it's my mom, and I got to tell you a story about my mom when I was a teenager, and I discovered these things called boys. She said to me, darling, don't you ever, ever get off your own stage? And I looked around and I said, What on earth does that mean? You crazy lady? Because you know, as a teenager, and what would my mum know? Because when you're a teenager, moms don't know anything. But the wise, wise woman, she said to me, darling, don't get off your stage. Don't stop doing what's important to you, in order to follow someone else's important. Don't lose sight of who you are, just to be in the world of someone else. Make sure you've got something that's important that you working on that's important to you stay on your own stage. And then she leaves him with a very cheeky grin because this is my mom and she says sir, are to drag your stage over and sit next to his stage, but don't ever get on his stage. Father, that's such great advice. Really great advice. Yeah, and I noticed when I was a teenager, so my favorite person to hang out with is my dad. And I did whatever he did. So he used to make the flyers for fly fishing with him in the garage and go out into the mountains and fish bushwalking. But he decided to get into bodybuilding, we were already cycling, so I already had thighs that most of the guys were dreaming off. But the good thing is, and then I got a mohawk or mahican depending on where you are. So all the boys were scared. I mean, it was great, because I didn't have to worry about the boys, I just got on with it. I was playing music, and I had so many things that I was doing, I didn't want to be distracted by the boys, you see a lot of girls get lost at high school with male attention, and they do lose their stage and that it's hard to pick your stage back. So if you're a teenage girl listening to this, don't worry about boys, you got the rest of your life to put up with them. Exactly. And don't get off your own stage. Carrie. Yeah, just further to Sally. Second point, it just reminded me of Brunei Brown says it so succinctly. It's hard to hike close up. And when we get to know people, when we, especially people who we don't understand, or people that maybe we're afraid, or maybe we haven't grown up nearby people from this culture or, you know, even an industry or there's people that we can be intimidated by and, or scared or judge, whatever. But if we can get closer if we can ask people their story brings down walls. And also I was thinking about the power of teaching your kids emotional regulation and emotional awareness. So, you know, kids are so tuned in to their emotions, where it gets beaten out of us, I think through education, but if you ask a five year old, you know, like, how are you feeling at the moment? Or how does this make you feel I had a conversation with my nephew before he was going to be, you know, a pageboy in a family wedding. And so he talks about his emotions. And then we talked about how he could choose to feel when he got there and and then he came back and share this excited story with me. And I just thought the emotional language was quite extraordinary. But I think children have that, but and maybe it's Australian culture that gets a little bit, you know, pushed out of us or pushed down. But if we can help young people to articulate how they feeling about different things, they can, you know, really start to listen to themselves more. And you know, I think I just didn't know what it was to listen to myself, probably from the age of 10 or 12. Onwards for a decade or two or three. But yeah, just having those conversations making it okay to share, how is it that something feels and you know, and to use different language? Like what color is it? or What does it look like, you know, if you could draw a picture of this feeling, what would that be like, but sometimes we just want a quick answer. And we want to just say, you know, you'll be fine, it's okay. And that doesn't help us to grow into know ourselves. So yeah, it's creating that space for emotional awareness, self awareness and self regulation. Oregon, another good one would be what would it taste like? Yes, yes. Just remind me how to quiet answer that question, actually. And just on that, I just want to recommend the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel. And he's written a book called brainstorm the power and potential of the teenage brain, but you can just google Daniel Siegel hand model of the brain, and he just shares this really simple hand model of the brain to help kids to articulate how they feeling and to process and to take time out if they need to, to, you know, express what's going on for them and what they need. So that's just a really powerful resource. working out how to talk to the teenage kid is a really important thing, like so we jaaxy when I walk beside him, or I sit next to him, but we don't look at each other. He's comfortable, like so do it face to face projects wants to be by my side. So I always, you know, take him for a walk on the beach, if I feel needs to talk, you know, but I'm trying to work out how to talk. And I'm right, I want to I want my boys to be emotionally intelligent. That's what the world needs is more boys EQ video, have you got something to it? Yes, I do. I think what it's important is that we as women, and also for the girls that come is that we know that it's not just us, it is systemic, some of the things that we are facing a systemic. That's one of the good things about the World Economic Forum, annually, publishing the global gender gap report. The report has many flaws. It doesn't measure everything. But what it's important in doing is it reminds us that there are systemic changes that needed to be made in our workplaces, in our countries in our communities, we need to be making systemic changes in order that this is generational. We are not seeing generational leaps for women at the moment except backwards. We're not going forwards. We're seeing generational leaps backwards, and this is not the way to go. The first thing I'll say is keep an eye on the situation. It's not just us, you may grow up in a family in which USC is equal to your brothers. That's all well and good, but society is not seeing that happen, especially not one women into work. And as we've discussed as well, not in the teenage years. This is also starting to be very unequal. It's very quick. By the age of about eight girls are starting to feel inadequate in math and science. Because there are not enough female teachers. They don't see them as wrong. models. And so that's the second thing that's important. We need to make sure that women continue to share their stories. I cannot tell you how reticent women have been about sharing this little girl with me stories we've heard from all of you all of you took a moment to decide to do that. Do you know how many men are trying to elbow their way into this campaign even though it's not for them, there is now a very weak this little boys me campaign that is doing nothing because it's not for them. They cannot, for a moment, allow the spotlight to be on a problem that needs to be solved instead of on themselves. So the women, I'm going to encourage women, everywhere your story, whatever it is, wherever it's from, it is meant for someone you need it to tell that story, because it will be relevant for someone you know, for all the little curly haired little brown girls who read my story, it was a big deal for them. For the others. You know, I cannot tell you all the Chinese women with straight hair, all the Caucasian women that have straight hair did not understand why this was a big deal. But for us, we understand our hair is political. When we go into work, we decide to straighten or whether we decide to put up ahead. It has a connotation, we know what that is, we understand that we know what the game is. So share your story. We are half the planet. We are not a minority. We are not expected to think the same way. I hate this, you know women who keep saying, oh, you're not supporting other women, we are different. We are allowed to be different. We're half the planet. We're as different as the men are from each other. Women are also as different from each other as the men are. So we're allowed to be everything, whatever it is, and we need to have those stories out in the world because you know what? I've learned I am mother stepmother and adopted mother of five children. And I'll tell you what I've learned about children. They listen to jack of what you are saying they watch everything that you do. They listen to maybe 1% if you are lucky, they will listen to 1% of what you say. But they watch everything that you do you want your children to be courageous, you better be living a courageous life. You want your children to have social conscience, you better be living a life of social conscience all your children will not you cannot raise children who love sports. If you don't expose them to sports. If you want children to read and you don't read well good luck. Your children are not listening to what you say they are watching what you do. So this is why role modeling yourself and exposing your children to role models is so very important. And that's why the inspiring girls network exists. This is why in all the different countries we are trying to ensure girls get together with role models. And the third thing is specifically for girls who are listening, it is absolutely important to remember that I hate to say this but the most important decision you make in your life today is not going to be where you go to school or any of those other decisions you're going to make the most important decision in your life is still your choice of life partner. make that choice very, very carefully, many many women are derailed by their choice of life partner. Still today that is the most important decision you make do not sell yourself short Do not be flattered by jealousy because I tell you I've worked with abuse women throughout the world and the number one characteristic of abusive men is they tend to have jealous personalities when you see a jealous man Run, run girls run run the other way this is not for you. This is not flattering for you run and you buy yourself the way you are the way you exist in the world with without makeup with without the fancy clothes you are enough and do not let any life partner tell you differently. So this is the message I would like to leave girls with. And I felt like that I can't tell you the amount of times I've caught up with female friends in business, lifelong friends, you name it and they say to me, I think I need to do less of who I am because I can't find a man because of course time Tick tock tick tock you know that sort of pressure and there's so much pressure on women with the biological clock is ticking but every time I'm like please do not do that. Never do that the man that will love you for who you are is out there waiting for you to show up. Or maybe he's not and maybe that's not the path he's supposed to have, you know, this need for a man. That's what I always struggle with. Like I said to Steve, he you know, heads off on his own journey, which of course he's not going to do because he's a very loving husband. But if he does basically that's it, you know, and I don't want to another one that I was 33 when I married him 32 when I found him you know i just i couldn't be with someone put me on a pedestal or someone who wanted me to be different so that I'd please their mum wasn't going to happen. So I think that's beautiful advice. So I had a friend her husband said to me once because I was still single in my early 30s say to me, don't you feel like you're incomplete drink at the time and I almost just spat it across the room because I'm like, No, this is not how this operates. I have got two arms, two legs, I'm physically whole so thank you for that. I don't need anything or anyone to complete me. That's my choice. My that's My work to do, I would like someone and I actually snagged a pretty good one I have to say, so I'm pretty happy with that. And he, he allows me to be me in all that incarnation. But it was just one of those moments where he was so well intended. But it was just so wrong at the same time. And it goes both ways. No man needs a partner to be complete, no woman needs needs a partner to be complete. So yeah, it was interesting to kind of join energy in sort of, oh, so we hold hands, we locked elbows, and then you sort of stand side by side and face the world together, you know, and it's, it's a pleasure when you got that right person by your side. You know, it's such a beautiful gift. But it's not about control. It's not about changing yourself. It's about pure acceptance and love for who you guys are all just sort of fit together like a jigsaw when you find them. And it's also not a goal, I think that's the important thing to remember. It's not a goal, you don't have to have it and you don't have to settle. At any point for it, you're better off alone than with a bad partner, because it's still such an important part of many women's lives. And this so Cinderella was a story. And they're lovely stories, if you want to imagine for a bit, but they were stories. Actually, we don't do fairy tales in our house. We don't because the women always constantly need to be rescued. And we didn't do them for the boys or for the girls. So you know, my son went to kindergarten and didn't know any of the stories he like, came back and he said, there's a dwarf story with a woman with white. And he was so confused. He's like, what is this dog story? The other kids know the dwarf star. Of course, as they got older, we explain why we don't do fairy tales. They're unempowered. They're really accounts. I don't know why we have them as such prevalent stories. They're terrible. So there's some really interesting people who actually studied fairy tales as their profession. And then obviously, a lot of it's linked to mythology. And it's quite ancient sort of ideas wrapped up in the story. So there's actually a lot more to fairy tales than most people see. But yeah, my boys obviously were never interested in fairy tales. So they weren't brought up with fairy tales. But and I think today, Disney is doing a lot more stories that are empowering for women, female characters, stronger characters, but we've still got a lot of work to the carry, you look like you wanted to jump in, actually came in the mail from our beloved Andrea Edwards. And it says, Every single one of us can be an agent of change. The only thing stopping us is our misguided belief that what we do makes no difference. And this is something that I've been talking about for the last, I don't know, five years, at least in Facebook, live videos. And in my latest book, that you make a bigger difference than you know that the little story that you share that you might think is inadequate, or it's not enough, or we have all of these stories that we tell ourselves, but any little thing that we do to encourage somebody to raise others up, it makes a bigger difference than we know. So. So I want to thank you, Andrea, for bringing us together video for prompting us to share our stories. Yeah, the ripple effects are far beyond what we can imagine. So yeah, I just wanted to say thank you, before we wrap up, I just want to just finish with one thing that I think is really, really important. Don't be scared of bad times, don't be scared of hard times, and pain. Don't be scared of a broken heart. This is all part of life. And it's part of you know, building a better life. And it's you know, we're talking about resilience, we can't become resilience, if everything's perfect in your life, it just doesn't happen. So the bad times come and go. And it's about making your way through them. But it's also about seeing the gift within them. Like one of the things I shared was when my parents got divorced, which was at the time when it was still unusual is very Catholic community. There was a lot of shame, obviously, for my mom. And there was a lot of shame in the community that my parents had taken that step and it was the first time I really witnessed shame. And I found that a very interesting experience. Mostly I was hurt because I felt abandoned by my dad, who was my favorite person to spend time with. And I was angry for a long time it was a couple of years. I mean, most people who would remember me from that time will remember that. And that's when I got on the road instead of wandering the world instead of sort of spending time with myself in silence and dealing with my own head and my own thoughts. But I faced up to all these different things. And I found my peace and I stopped being angry and I started to see gifts and I started to grow. So don't be scared of the hard times. A lot of people are defeated from the hard times. And they their lives sort of go down after that. Whereas what you've got like you know, selling talking about wanting to be the captain of the netball team, you know, that can be crushing for young girls, but it's just a step on the path. And all of us have done so many different things in our lives. And the thing that is within you isn't specific, the gift that you have isn't specific it can be you could go and be a doctor critical great hands or whatever. But you have things within you that make you special. And it's about working out how to align those special things with career paths that you want to take and that's where the mentorship comes in. You need to find people that can see your light and help you grow and help you shine and who don't feel any threat from that. So that's what I decided They wouldn't go away with What about you guys give us a final one? I'm just saying yes and amen to that. Hands in the air absolutely couldn't agree more and I think we sometimes get a job title and forget that actually skills make up the work that goes under that job title and so it's almost like peeling back those onion layers to the skills that we have that can take us anywhere we choose. I feel like Dr. Seuss when I say that, you know we do we get to go anywhere we choose because of the skills not the labels are beautiful, totally. So I just want to say thank you so much. Because you know, I sort of reached out to you yesterday, I just thought it was an important topic to talk about on this International Day, the girl child and be able to get it live tomorrow, but really love talking to you. We should do it more often. Thank you. Thank you, Andrea. All right. Thank you, Andrew. Thank you so much for doing this. And thanks for being here and Sally. Well there you go. Thank you so much. To Lavinia Sally and Carrie for your beautiful conversation there's nothing greater in my mind than having a beautiful conversation with wonderful people and yeah, so many great insights there Priscilla Joseph who's done a really really fast job editing this so we can get it out as quickly as possible. Thank you my lovely Gary Kraus at legend music Phuket if you want an introduction let me know he's done all of my original music recordings from my podcast mentor the young girls out there and the women let's get going let's change the path we can do it together but let's do it in so that we create balance. It's this is not an anti men idea. This is us coming together the good men, the good women coming together and creating a future that is better for all humankind to that theory. Okay. All right. I'll see you soon. Yes. Every single guy