The Book : Interviews with Inspirational Women

Baroness Boothroyd in the LordsIntroducing the ebook:

Interviews with Inspirational Women

The original title of this book was to be:

Backwards and in High Heels.


One of the greatest dancers ever, in the fifties was Fred Astair, but his partner Ginger Rogers did everything  that he did.  However, she did it backwards and in high heels.  A reflection on some of the restraints and handicaps which women often face when attaining their ambitions.

“ I started to experience (discrimination)  more from 2005, when I started to take on professional positions.  I found I had to work extra hard at certain things in comparison to my male counterparts.”  Rebecca Miller conductor.

However, a more positive title is Interviews with Inspirational Women

Although meant as a handbook for entrepreneurs, it can also act as a guide for people on the career path.

There are 3 key principles which this book espouses.

One is the importance of Role Models and Mentors.   Sometimes these may seem strange. Betty Boothroyd’s role models were Elizabeth  I, and Judy Garland. The latter “the words, always clearly enunciated.” A  good quality for the Speaker of the House.

Maggie Aderin Pocock, has seemingly strange role models. Sherlock Holmes, and Dr(sic) Spock, the space adventurer.

It has to do with their analytical minds, and ability to distance themselves from emotion.  Also as a black child perceived to be Nigerian and therefore a second language speaker,  she was quickly labelled as Dyslexic, and put into the bottom set, which excused her getting specific and appropriate assistance. The same thing happened to the now famous director Steve McQueen who is actually deeply mortified and ashamed to be dyslexic. “My painful secret.” Guardian  04.01.14

So, don’t take yourself at the assessment of other people.  Only you know who you are and what you’re capable of, or if you don’t know, you can find out.

The next and most fun is the serendipity moment.

Always be open to new possibilities, time after time interviewees, speak of being curious, open to possibilities, realizing that things can be “other”.

Very often the serendipity moment, comes at a seeming moment of disaster when you’re diverted from you career path.

“I didn’t get in  and and so, Sian West became a Prison Governor.

Rebecca Miller conductor

“…because I didn’t get in at the top  level, I nearly didn’t go.

I would never have met my husband. 13 years happily married.”

But the most important principle and sometimes the most difficult is to know yourself.

Hence the page dedicated to “Who do you think you are?”

Self knowledge has ben advocated since the earliest philosophers.  You know when your vocation opens in front of you.

“The moment I gave the up-beat, I knew that this was what 100% I wanted to do for the rest of my life” Rebecca Miller conductor.

Ian Martin, representative in Nepal, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was one of Dame Anne Owers’  Role Models.

From him I got the saying:

”Do a job that makes your juices run”.

He was a  model for me in how to lead an organization.

So have you found your vocation? Have you found the thing that you were meant to do?  If you’re still searching, look to your role models, whether humble or famous or family, they will give you clues to the values you hold and wish to adhere to.

This book is not just for women, it is for anyone, searching for their path, and wanting to change their career.  Sometimes it involves the most extreme leap of faith, but our inspirational interviewees, are here to demonstrate, that you can come back from even the most extreme circumstances.

The Olympic cyclist Janine Shepherd, had an accident which broke her body and she was told she would never walk, never have sex, nor would she ever have  children.

So she looked to the sky.  If I can’t walk, then I shall fly she vowed.

As a pilot she married another pilot.  When she told him she would be unable to have children. He said “There’s only one way to find out.” Hence the title of her book “Never tell me never.”

Pilot, wife and mother of 3 children, rider and even a runner with the Olympic torch in 2000, it comes as no surprise that she is an inspirational speaker, much in demand.

Anything is possible.  You can change your reality.  But that is for another chapter.

Old interviews are available here



One Response

  1. Have really enjoyed reading your blogs..

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