International Women's Day 2023
Its International Women’s Day and RM Training are proud to have a workforce where women are the majority, from management roles to skilled tutors and skills coaches to outstanding office staff. We have asked the women of RM Training to put together something of their choosing to share on this day.
“Girls just aren’t good at maths.” Heard that before? Even with the huge leaps and bounds in gender equality in just the last few years, this is STILL part of normal conversation and it is absolutely untrue!
Somehow it became an embedded part of our culture to accept that our double X chromosome carries with it some sort of ingrained barrier to certain knowledge or behaviours. It sometimes comes out as seemingly innocent or well-meaning thoughts like “women can’t read maps” or “women can’t parallel park.” Other times, it’s more sinister. “Women don’t make good managers.” “Women can’t hack it on the front lines.” “Women can’t do maths.” As young as primary school, I have heard every one of these statements, most of the time from adults. I internalised it and by the time I got to secondary school, doing my GCSE Maths homework, I was in tears. I felt like I was being set up to fail. “I can’t do this, I’m a girl, I’m not even supposed to be good at this, what’s the point?”
It was my mother who finally broke the spell for me. She was a fantastic science teacher and all round quite an impressive individual (though I am biased, I’ll admit). She knew me well enough to know that I had the ability to do maths, I just needed to find the right way to understand it, my way. We spent so much time re-teaching and re-learning the subject matter, often putting it into contexts that I had experienced so I had something to apply it to. All of a sudden, equations were balancing, Pythagoras made sense, ratios were ratioing! I had spent so long hearing that my gender was no good at maths that I believed it, and I had put up mental blockades to even trying to find my own way of understanding. Now I even TEACH maths, something 13 year old me would have thought was some sort of practical joke!
For the record, women CAN read maps, women DO make good managers, and some of the most important mathematicians in history…yep, they were women. Anyone who has watched Hidden Figures knows all about Katherine Johnson, whose calculations were critical to getting the first US astronauts into space.
So the next time you start to limit yourself because “women can’t…” think of Katherine Johnson, Amilia Earhart, Marie Curie, your mother, my mother. Shout it out for them all to hear. WOMEN CAN!
Margaret Mead was a Cultural anthropologist and writer. Mead’s work really inspired me when I was studying Youth Work, especially her ideas about the powerful effects of social convention on behaviour, particularly in adolescent girls. In her studies , she sought to discover if adolescence was a universally traumatic and stressful time due to biological factors or if the experience of adolescence depended on cultural upbringing. Her ideas surrounding this still resonate today in the studies of child and adolescent development.
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness.” –Oprah Winfrey
“When women support each other, incredible things happen.” – Unknown
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” –Michelle Obama
SO, I guess my little story would be health based.
At 17 I was diagnosed with hypermobility which put a stop on my performance career by 19.
November 2017, I had my first seizure, I then wasn’t able to diagnosed till September 2021 which was P.O.T’s.
Through all that I also got diagnosed with Raynaud’s, Fibromyalgia, PCOS, Spinal issues, and more.
I’m still working on my health and finding out more issues to this day, but I started my career through an apprenticeship because of my health and that’s how I learned I love working with people helping them in the working world!