I was born into a family of three girls and one boy, so my household was very female-dominated. I went to an all-girls school and have grown up in a space where I never saw my gender as a barrier to my aspirations. In my personal life, I control the money – the bills and financial decisions – I suspect character plays a part in this too! I have one child, a daughter, and one grandchild, my granddaughter, so my adult family life is still female-focused in many ways. Over time, it’s made me even more determined to tackle biases that I began to realise they might face.
When I was a local councillor, if I was going out door-knocking and canvassing, my young daughter would be out with me. If I was at long meetings, she’d be under the table with a colouring book, occasionally popping up to ask, “Isn’t it time to go yet?!” For me, I think there is something in taking steps to make it easier for both men and women to balance their caring responsibilities with their work. I’m delighted to see a seismic shift in flexible working over the past few years allowing everyone, including those with caring responsibilities, a better work/life balance.