A good friend of mine recently was branded a "washed up, has been - too old for the business" by a young twenty-something man who thought that he would be able to tarnish her reputation in the PR field and perhaps gain some of her clients.

When hearing this story, which goes beyond what I have just written and focuses heavily on the fact that she is a woman, I find myself compelled to re-educate anyone around me that believes that this behaviour and thought-process is acceptable.
There is no role for misogynist people in society

I've built a business based on credentials of the people who are employed in our business regardless of sex, age, religion or race. Each have brought something to the table, but mostly, it's a firm appreciation by all that what makes us different makes us beautiful and unique. To have opportunity to work with people from all over the world and to share meals with people who may be Muslim or Jewish or Catholic or any other religion is an absolute privilege.

I am fascinated by their stories as much as they like to listen to mine.

When it comes to being male or female, and our ages, it becomes personal for a different reason. Should I not hire someone  who has ample experience, is up-to-date with all the latest in marketing technologies because they have been deemed to age out? Absolutely not. 

Everyone should always been given credit for who they are and what they bring to the table - regardless.

We hear commentary by sportspeople, politicans, business people and in every day life, that is now unacceptable. Women are not meant to be in the kitchen. They can be if they so choose to be, but they have every right to sit at the boardroom table and contribute.

If someone has been in an industry for many years, then it's their experience and potentially mentorship that gives value to generations to come. Don't put that down. Applaud it. Celebrate it. Learn from it.

I have been always against International Women's Day because there is no International Men's Day. I know that some men don't have a healthy respect for women outside the kitchen and bedroom. They exist. But likewise, there are some women who don't always do and say the right things about men. Yes, there are men haters out there too.

But what is important is that we all embrace change. We contribute positively to saying that there is no place for gender inequality, and that both men and women champion this cause.

I spoke at Rare Birds Conference this year, and loved the fact that Jo Burston took the initiative to not exclude men, but include them and make them very much part of her movement.

We are all on this planet and our role is to make it a better place then when we arrived. We all need to work towards being kinder, more generous and building a sustainable environment. Being role models for the young is paramount to seeing them contribute positively in the future.

The recent school debacle in a Brighton public school with "slut shaming" of innocent young girls by senior boys at the school brought to light the fact that more needs to be done and it starts first and foremost at home and extends to classroom and every aspect of life. We cannot have children thinking it's ok to do be a misogynist or sexist or racist. 

I cannot speak highly enough of those willing to speak out and challenge the people that are thinking that this behaviour is ok. If someone has a public profile, and it is valuable to the organisations they represent, throwing the carpet over the problem is not going to solve it. If they were not so "valuable" they would be fired. It's still a boys club with some women not having the balls to stand up and be counted. 

Let's not shy away from this debate and instead keep forging ahead celebrating both men and women and being more mindful of the things we say and do.

Kindess and compassion never goes out of fashion.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

2 comments

  • Joseph
    07/12/16

    Some really quality blog posts on this internet site , saved to fav.

  • James Sinclair
    James Sinclair
    17/08/16

    A powerful message, clearly and beautifully expressed. It is telling that towards the back end of 2016, articles like this still need to be written, addressed, and what's more, are often ignored.

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