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Brenda is not only one of our wonderful Patrons, she is also the Arts,Culture and Entertainment Correspondent for BBC London News.

All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
30 Nov 2020

How do women keep believing in their careers and personal lives in 2020?

It is fair to say that this has been a year like no other. It has not only been challenging having to deal with COVID19 - this hidden enemy that his wreaked fear into our lives and upset our way of being and way of living.

The uncertainty that it has perpetuated has added a level of stress and loss which has thrown us all and tested our resolve.

But it is not only the pandemic that we have had to deal with but the huge bruising to the environment caused by bush fires, the American election and of course we will never forget the impact the killing of George Floyd has had on the world and how it has highlighted systemic racism.

These things undoubtedly take their toll on us personally, as a community and society at large.

However, I am a strong believer that there is always an opportunity in a crisis – a chance for us to move from fear to learning and growing from any experience that has tested us.

This of course is what life is about. This journey is meant for us to embrace what is presented to us – to give thanks for the blessings and build character from the burdens.

Women have resilience and the ability to multi-task built into our DNA.

We learn to juggle our personal lives with our professional ones. Where men tend to compartmentalise, we embrace what is thrown at us and deal with as many balls as we can personally throw up in the air (or are thrown in our direction.) This is how we roll.

That said, what I have learnt most from this year is the importance of self-care. How we must look after our mental and physical well-being before we can take care of anything or anyone else.

It’s like being on the plane when they instruct you to put your mask on first before even dealing with your children.

This period of time has given us the opportunity to reflect on what we value most and to seriously evaluate what we want to keep in our lives, how we want to work and spend our time.

Many would have found that working from home gave them the opportunity to connect with family and friends in a way that the hustle of a corporate, institutional, or entrepreneurial life may have not made possible.

Or it may have been a rude awakening that trying to work from your own personal space is simply not productive.

Whatever personal insights, a-ha moments or degree of clarity or confusion 2020 has forced upon you it is truly important to believe that your dreams and ambitions do not need to be destroyed by a devastating year.

This is a re-set. A chance to re- think and re-imagine what your future can be.

It is a opportunity to weed out what has not been working, to assess what is truly valuable to you and to re- charge – ready to fast-forward towards our dreams when the appropriate time comes.

Please remember that marvellous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:

“A woman is like a teabag. You can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

What is the hard truth about being a Boss Lady?

  • Not everyone will like you.

  • You have to have the courage of your convictions.

  • You may have to accept that you cannot have it all.

  • There will be tough calls – When do you put your family or business first?

  • Some men may be challenged by your success and status.

  • Some women may not want to see you succeed or support you.

  • People will make assumptions about you.

  • Your confidence may be misconstrued for arrogance.

  • Beware those intersectional challenges.

  • Make self-care as important as that big business meeting

Image by Josephine Bredehoft
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What is your plan for 2021?

To be clearer on my vision – kinder to my body – closer to my family and friends – happy in my home – forgetful of fear – alive to adventures – lucky in love – tempted by travel – attuned to the Almighty – leaving a legacy - smiles over sadness – and brave enough to just be me!

Huge thanks to Brenda for finding time to speak to us.
If you want to find out more about Brenda, you can keep up-to-date with her on Twitter, where she’s @brendaemmanus
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