“Do women need to make hard choices to get ahead?”

On Wednesday I was involved in the Australian Institute of Management’s International Women’s Day debate team, I was a part of the affirmative team alongside two incredible women Wendy Tuohy and Sara James. We debated over whether or not “Women needed to make hard choices to get ahead”

ABSO-FRIGGEN-LUTLEY . . . Here’s why.

When I first read that headline I hated the words “Get ahead”. . To me it felt as though women are one step behind the pack . . . the title made me feel that we need to be ruthless to get ahead such as back stabbing other women to get to a higher position or to give up our family life to secure a promotion. But after re-reading that sentence my attention shifted . . . In order to get ahead we need to make HARD CHOICES, let’s talk about the hard choices that we will face . . . Let’s start with Imagining your job being ripped out from under you . . . your life in tatters . . . everything you’ve ever known is gone. . . You spiral into a deep depression and the first choice you need to make is “Do I want to live? . . Am I a fighter? Am I strong enough to get through this?”

For the next 12 months I was faced with unthinkable choices, choices that I never should have had to make . . . but I had to and the situations varied . . .BUT the process on how to make those choices NEVER CHANGED . .

“Stay TRUE to yourself”

If you stay true to yourself . . You maintain your integrity, you don’t lose who you are when you have to make hard choices. I am strong, fearless, passionate, fun and honest. Staying true to yourself allows you to have inner peace, it allows you to move forward and to me that means getting ahead.

And the hard choices, they’ll always be there but it’s how we handle them that matters. I will now be facing the next biggest challenge of my life and that’s becoming a mother. For years I chased my media dream and brushed aside my Endometriosis, the disease that was slowly but surely taking away my right to be a mother. I started this year continuing to pursue my career, knowing that being pregnant could lesson my chances of being employed, so I once again held off . . . and then one day recently that bloody dancing baby from Ally McBeal popped up “ooonga chucka ooonga chucka”, reminding me that my biological clock was ticking.

It angers me that women need to think about their careers before deciding to be a mother, Reporter Leslie Bennett’s has written about these realities “Opting Out” when we decide to put our careers on hold to have a baby, we are basically GIVING UP OUR CAREERS. Who has left their job to have a baby or two and tried to re-enter the workforce 2 years later? Or, to even become pregnant in a fast paced job? Becoming pregnant can be a challenge in itself, for me I will need IVF and a miracle . . . But I shouldn’t have to make the hard choice of giving up on my dreams in order to do that.

I made hard choices to get ahead, I don’t have my fulltime Media Career anymore and I might not get it back . . . I will now struggle to become a mother BUT there is one thing all women have deep inside us that no one can ever take away from us WE ARE FIGHTERS.

Do you want to be a follower? Or do you want to be a leader? Don’t stand still. Be true. Be authentic. Be genuine. Be strong. Don’t ever give up. Stay true to yourself when you make hard choices, and you WILL get ahead.

Sunday March 8th is International Women’s Day, this is a day to celebrate YOU no matter who you are, where you work or what you do . . . being a woman is a celebration in itself. Happy International we are awesome day ladies, stay strong and stay positive.


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