It took me twenty four years to become an overnight success …

Tell us about your product or service.
There will always be more power in being a woman than there will ever be in trying to behave like a man.

I help women in business have a voice with confidence and authority without sacrificing their femininity, to create impact and gravitas whilst stepping into their authentic feminine power.

What inspired you to launch your business?
My female ancestors inspired me to launch my business. I come from a line of incredibly feisty, strong and powerful women, going right back to 1745. These amazing women were the true pioneers, the real heroines. What they achieved and created was incredible and they did it all without the voice that women today have.

The things I take completely for granted as a woman in the 21st century, were not even on the radar screen for my female ancestors. I have been lucky enough to be born in the most privileged time in history so far, the options open to me are only limited by my personal limits.

I owe it to the women who came before me to have the voice they were not allowed, not to do so would be dishonouring their memory and their achievements.

I did have many challenges growing up which led to a low self belief as a teenage girl, which did impact on the decisions I made early in my adult life. I am passionate that no woman doubts her absolute magnificence for a nano second, so in essence ALL women are my inspiration.

Even though I launched my business many years ago, it was a particular experience in 2011 that led me to write my book and to do for myself what I empower my clients to do – to step out into the spotlight and become really visible. Hence taking 24 years to become an overnight success!

What problem does your business or organization solve?
During the last 24 years of working with women and organisations, what has been apparent is the belief by a lot of women that the only way to succeed is to behave like the men.

This disempowers both men and women. It can also create a culture of blame, resentment and conflict.

I work with individuals and organisations on the power of taking ownership and responsibility. With individuals I help people create the future of their dreams. With organisations I assist them with their gender diversity agendas and culture change management. It is with both of these in place that individuals and organisations can create a culture of collaboration and trust.

What has been your biggest challenge and how are you working to overcome it?
Back in the late 1990's, when I was working with FTSE 250 companies on their gender diversity issues, the topic was high on the agenda in UK business. Since then there has been a climate of complacency which has created challenges in keeping the issue high on the agenda.

A lot of companies believe they have ‘ticked that box' and can now move onto other issues.

But, of course, these are issues that cannot be a ‘tick box' exercise. It is only once a true culture change has been successfully achieved, can a company honestly refer to themselves as investors in people and the best places to work.

The challenge, now even more than a decade ago, is to get companies to recognise that diversity issues need to be so firmly embedded in the DNA and culture, that nothing can derail them.

To tackle that challenge, I have shifted to work more with the women rather than simply concentrating on the employer as I did 10/15 years ago. As Gandhi said, “We have to be the change we want to see.”

If women want to see a change in the culture of companies, we have to be that change within ourselves. Hence writing my book The High-heeled Leader, which was published last year. As women, we all have a responsibility to be the best versions of ourselves every day, to step away from the blame culture and step into the power of owning our journey and choices in life.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
Inspirational.

This is the word I have fed back to me whenever I give a talk, do training or work with a woman 1:1.

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
To be a part of such a well respected, fully inclusive and powerful forum as Project Eve is, firstly, a huge privilege and, secondly, completely invaluable in terms of profile, prestige and impact.

I have been able to make connections with fabulous women who, without Project Eve, I may never have found via any other route.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
EQ – Emotional Intelligence – has now been proved to be as powerful and crucial for successful leadership in the 21st century as IQ.

EQ is what women do naturally brilliantly. We are born with EQ character strengths. We are born with the skill to read body language perfectly, we are the instinctive collaborators and mediators in life which positions us as perfect team players and leaders for today's business world.

We are much better at creating our exit strategies as we have the natural ability to grow people underneath us, therefore creating the space for us to move onwards and upwards with our careers.

Frank Fools Crow, a Lakota Sioux Chief, said, “The 21st century will see an era of prosperity and peace, and it will be brought in by women.”

Very sensible man was Frank!

Company: Katie Day Consulting

Website: http://www.katieday.com

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