We’re back today with another post from Rach (where does the time go?! I can’t believe it was a month ago that I posted her last post), and this time she’s discussing the subtle, but important to her, difference between being a business woman, and a woman in business. Perhaps it’s just syntax, or perhaps there is more to it than that. Perhaps it’s about redefining our ideas of what a business woman looks like, or maybe it’s about reclaiming the word and being proud of it. Whatever it is, it certainly got me thinking…
When I think of a business woman, I think of stiletto heels, the pout and the perfectly manicured nails. I think of a big office with floor to ceiling glass walls and slim line computers and iPads everywhere – this could well be just from watching particular types of films and The Apprentice however! I don’t see myself as a ‘business woman’ – more of a ‘woman in business’, which is a subtle but significant distinction I think.
I wear dresses to work, yes, and I like to paint my nails too – but I’m always bare foot in the boutique! I don’t ‘do’ power shoes. I like my comfy boots to walk into work and take them off as soon as I get to the boutique. I like my fleece lined padded jacket which always has lots of doggie bags in the pockets for when I’m walking the pooches. I don’t have long hair curled at the ends. I have, quite frankly, half a hair cut!
People often say to me – ‘you have so much responsibility’ – but I don’t think I do. I just see myself as an honorary bridesmaid to each bride and love chatting to them about their plans for the big day. And I’m so lucky that each and every bride that enters my little world in the boutique is completely different to the next. I never get bored.
When I think of a business woman I think – wow – I wonder what that must be like.
I do everything myself, the business is named after me. But that doesn’t make me a business woman, does it? I love my job, it doesn’t even feel like a ‘job’. I strive to do my best for every bride, because every bride deserves the best.
Even if some people would argue I am a business woman – maybe I can argue back that I’m a ‘woman in business’ doing it my own way, just like my brides do their weddings their own way?
I think back to a time in history when women didn’t have the vote, and they could only dream that one day women would have the opportunity to be in charge of their own livelihoods. I feel really proud that at the age of 27 I’m creating my own route. And there is an inner feminist in me that wants to high five every other woman that runs her own business – not to say ‘well done us’ but almost to say ‘we’re doing it for those women who couldn’t, and put their own lives on the line for us to be given the opportunity to give it a go.’
I guess that’s what being a ‘woman in business’ means to me – it’s grabbing those hard fought for opportunities with both hands and making the most of them, while being an ethically responsible member of a community. And if I can do that while wearing something far more interesting than a grey pinstripe suit and sporting fuchsia pink nails, then it will make me happy for a very long time!