Please enjoy Mrs Warwick's Thought for the Term

DGS Leadership Characteristic:

Oracy and Using your Voice


Maya Angelou once said:

'Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!'


Research tells us that part of the reason women are not as well represented as men at the top levels of a range of careers is because they are less likely to ask for what they want - a promotion! In some ways, we have come so far in addressing gender equality as a society - for example, it is wonderful that Jodie Whitaker has been announced as the first female Dr Who this week. And yet, I am writing this entry on the day that the gaping pay gap between the salaries of the most highly paid male and female BBC presenters has hit the news. There is still more work to do...

As women, we need to use our voices to advocate for others, but also to advocate for ourselves. This requires us to think carefully about the words we use. It's time to stop using words which suggest inferiority such as 'just' ('it's just an idea') or 'only' ('I'm only a beginner') and use language assertively e.g. 'I have a great idea!'.

In an attempt to protect ourselves from the potential of feeling foolish, we can come across as lacking in confidence. For example, how many times have I heard a perfectly good answer in class preceded by 'This is probably wrong, Miss, but...'. Come on, girls! 

And whilst it's important to apologise when you have got something wrong, beware of falling into the habit of 'over-apologising.' There is no need to apologise for disagreeing with someone, as long as you do it politely! There is no need to apologise for asking for something you want: 'I'm sorry but could you pass me the milk?' If we over-apologise it undermines our credibility and other people's perception of our self-confidence.

Don't confuse assertiveness with a lack of femininity. The most compelling and charming women I know are confident to ask, politely, for what they want and, then, graciously, to accept it. 

Girls, you are hugely impressive: you have your futures and the world in front of you.  If you want something - ask for it!


Happy holidays


Mrs Warwick