Women in the Workplace

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Over the last six months I’ve focused purely on being a mum (a position I never expected to be in just over a year ago). I love every minute of it may I add, but as the end of my maternity leave is looming, it’s time to think about myself and providing for my son.

Listening to a radio interview featuring Rita Chowdhry, founder and CEO of Savran (a business which works with individuals and businesses to understand the strengths and values of their people and being the best in the workplace), she discussed the topic of women in the workplace.

Firstly she identified the importance of your values, something which seems to be overshadowed these days as many people are working in jobs they hate and rarely spending valuable moments with family. This is something that really gave me food for thought and I’m sure for many more women, even with or without children. As Rita said, “people have to take a step back and think what is it I actually value in life? What do I want to do for the remaining years of my life? Do I want to make a difference? Do I want to be there for my family? Do I want to be a good role model? Look at your values and what is important, and live by them.”

Once you have realised your values, Rita has identified five key elements which help to understand an individual and how they perform, this model is called Savvi:

Self-awareness – Having an awareness of your strengths and weaknesses and using those strengths to overcome your weaknesses. It is also about having an understanding of others’ self-awareness.

Achievers mindset – Your ‘I can’ is more important than your IQ; your IQ can only take you so far.

Values and beliefs – Are these limiting you in any way and if so, can these limitations be changed?

Verbal communication – People communicate in different ways; identify the different styles of verbal communication within a team and be aware of these.

Inspiration – Look into who and what can inspire you, e.g. books, coaching, mentoring.

Looking at and understanding the Savvi model, I’ve found this really interesting and helpful in developing myself. As discussed in the interview, stereotypically women are brought up with the value of supporting others (family, children, etc) and although there is no outright discrimination against women, there is a lot of unconscious bias. Certainly for me from looking at this model and I’m sure other women, it makes me think about what my strengths, weaknesses and what inspires me to succeed, something that has tended to take a back seat since having my son. In order for me to provide what my son needs, I have to understand myself and what works for our family.

Concluding the interview, Rita was asked what is key to having a successful business and in response answered, “do something you are passionate about and taking that further, identify your strengths.”

Having listened to this interview, I was inspired by her success and by using the Savvi model in every day life it can make vast improvements to your future. If you want to be inspired and hear the full interview, click here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08316yg