General Musings

It’s a woman’s world too

It’s International Women’s Day …but hey, I prefer to consider all people and all influences equal! 😊

That said… To mark the occasion, I thought I would look at today as a celebration of the many women in my life who do great things every day.
Women who I turn to for support and inspiration, like…

Sally Rogan – UX, User Researcher, Content Designer

Having spent the best part of 2 years working with Sally I’ve learned so much from her calm and perceptive nature. She has a fantastic ability to empathise with a customer and instinctively know when to say the right thing and when to let things go quiet. We’ll be firm friends forever.

Julia Newell – Business Analyst, Chair of IIBA Scotland Branch

Julia has so much energy! She works tirelessly to make the branch a success, to enable learning for other BAs from across Scotland and beyond. Julia also extends this learning through the mentoring programme. If that isn’t enough, she is also involved in BALIFE, our learning and innovation festival. This is in addition to having a full-time BA role of her own.

Rhoda Whitton – one of my oldest friends, Project manager

We haven’t worked together for over 20 years, nonetheless we talk a lot (well, virtually at the moment!) discussing all sorts of things from family to work to life. We a kind of ‘support mechanism’ for each other …and she is amazing! Last year, very quietly she led her team to become Winners of the Best Learning Technologies Project in the UK and was awarded the Bronze Winner of Learning Leader of the Year.

Fiona Higgins – A great friend

Fiona is a teacher, and she is the person I go to for a shoulder to cry on …and/or when I need a Gin Buddy! …and someone to gossip with, dream about holidays with, put the world to rights with. You get the idea! She is an incredible person. So calm. What’s more, she’s had a tough year and continues to bounce back. We all know how hard it is being in a profession like teaching in the current climate, never knowing what’s going to happen, in school out of school, exposed to the COVID daily. Throughout all of this, Fiona always has a smile on her face.

Julie Parker

You may have guessed by the surname, Julie is my sister, yet the complete opposite to me. As a Train Guard, she too is in the front-line daily, continually exposed to COVID …which is a little scary. Nonetheless, she cracks on. She is a fighter, and she thrives on that, and as sisters her style and mine seem to complement each other. Julie has been my rock through the last year with the added bonus, of long walks together, every two weeks, with the dogs, putting the world to rights.

The Stuck-on-the-Bypass Three – Justine, Karen & Paul

Yes, I know… Paul is a man, but I cannot separate him from this group. Like many wonderful, he can be ‘one of the girls’ too. I worked with these guys for nearly 10 years and even though that was over a decade ago, they are still there providing music, fun, and laughter whenever any of us need it.

My Mum – The greatest woman I have ever known

What a woman! Sadly, she is no longer with us. She raised us on our own when my Dad died quite young. She wasn’t perfect of course, but she raised 4 strong women and taught us how to get on with things. When I’m stuck on something or feel I can’t get out of something I hear one of my Mum’s numerous saying coming back to me… or knowing when to just stick two fingers up and get on with it.

Everyone else

I could go on because there are so many more brilliant and talented women who have come into my life and helped me along the way during my career. Wonderful people like Terri Lydiard, who I worked with for a long time at IBM, and Jo Mahadevan, a brilliant young quality engineer doing great things at Lloyds. Then there’s great BA experts that I’ve recently met like Debra Paul and Christina Lovelock, whose obvious talents influence many of us.

Inspiration is not always limited to those we know well or those with years of experience…

Recently, I have been inspired by the likes of Lauren Howes from the Young Business Analysts and Finalist in the BA of the Year Awards. And of course, how could I forget my niece Sandie, whose work ethic has always been truly amazing (at one point she had FOUR jobs!) and has always inspired me to keep going.

I could go on and on, but instead let me say this: I feel very lucky to have a life full of brilliant women who have influenced and continue to influence my life. Thank you to you all.


On 19th November 2021, I’ll remember all of the men that have also been a great influence on my life for International Men’s Day, because everyone has their part to play.

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