Thursday 8th March 2018 was the day I became an honorary woman for the day.
It was International Women’s Day and I was in Manchester to deliver my presentation on Personal Mastery, to a room of 30 independent business women.
What an experience.
As the only man speaking at the event; the other 5 speakers were all women, two of whom are major international speakers, it was somewhat daunting.
When I saw the name Harry on one of the guest badges I felt somewhat relieved; until Carole, one of the organisers, told me that even Harry was a woman.
As I shared my sense of feeling alone, in a room full of 36 other people, with some of the delegates the response was unanimous.
“Now you know what it’s like for us most of the time at work”
The energy in the room was noticeably different to anything I’ve experienced before.
I can only describe it as a willingness to acknowledge the differences that exist between men and women but a determination to no longer accept the inequalities.
But this was not a room of feminist radicals. They were mums, wives, girlfriends wanting to improve their lives, the lives of their loved ones and the lives of other people.
Some shared their stories with me; of the sexual harassment they had experienced and how that was a major motivation for what they now do.
One in particular shocked me. Not just because in 21st century Britain these abuses are still happening but because, in some cases, the perpetrators are getting away with it, even after the event is reported to the those who should have taken the responsibility to do something.
Jane, not her real name-for obvious reasons, described her experience; of the senior manager, at one of the big four banks, who offered her a better annual career assessment if she would have sex with him in his office, there and then.
And a considerably worse one, if she didn’t.
It was excruciating to hear, and I felt a powerful sense of shame on behalf of the males of the world, as she related her experience to me.
What it is about the psychology of some men that drives them to behave in such a way?
Jane has not allowed this experience to hold her back. She is using it as her motivation to change the world through the business she has created and is now building.
But the conversation took me back to my time in the world of national newspapers and I felt my skin crawl as the memories of the working atmosphere came back to me.
In 1964 the Black American singer, Sam Cooke, wrote the song “A Change is Gonna Come” after his experience of racial discrimination. You can listen to it HERE.
Well I believe there is another change happening now.
It is impossible to say how it will play out and over what time scale it will happen.
But there is a momentum building.
And it is building because women are embracing and learning the principles of Personal Mastery.
In this interview with Anne Boden, who started a new online bank, she explains how she created a successful career in the banking industry by standing out and not trying to fit in to that male dominated world, until she finally realised she had it in her to create the type of bank she wanted to see in the world.
I think there is a shock coming along the road for the Cro-Magnon men who still think it is acceptable to behave in their old-fashioned ways.
And I don’t mean the punishment by the law.
The world is changing and one day it will sweep past them and they will no longer have a place.
But they won’t know why, and they won’t know what to do about it.