Recognising inspiring leaders for International Women’s Day

 

March, 2017

Wednesday 8th March 2017 is International Women’s Day, which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Here, Emma Jukes discusses her experiences within Philips.

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent over 17 years with Philips so far and I have relished the challenge offered to me in the number of roles, over different functions, I have already experienced and I know are also yet to come. 

 

As part of International Women’s Day I was trying to decide what to focus on and how much importance I should impart to gender in the opportunities I have been afforded in such a large company.  Then I realised, when I consider my most inspiring manager - who I am in no doubt led me down the road I am now travelling and still loving - though they were female, that wasn’t what defined her as inspirational. 

recognising-inspiring-leaders-for-international-womens-day

What made her inspirational was her ability to push me through boundaries I didn’t even realise I had, making it seem natural and easy to turn the impossible, possible.  She role modelled behaviours such as integrity, self-belief and an immense drive to succeed as part of a team - not on her own – all of which really resonated with me then and still do today, ten years later. 

 

Regardless of the challenges that were thrown at her and the times people tried to undermine her in public, she stuck to her guns and refused to be drawn into, quite frankly, some of the less pleasant (but sometimes the necessary) part of any job – the office politics.  She was very aware of them and could explain at length what position anyone would take in a discussion before it even happened. I often wondered if she were a great chess player outside of work, but I never got the chance to ask – but she was never, ever drawn into the politics or taking sides, professional integrity intact.  That’s what made her inspirational, not the fact she was female.

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