Breaking Gender Stereotypes: Reclaiming Women’s Historic Roles of Authority


Hello Everyone, 

In recent years, there has been a remarkable shift in societal norms, with more and more women breaking barriers and excelling in what have traditionally been considered male-dominated roles. From female Prime Ministers leading nations to women at the helm of tech giants, we are witnessing a powerful movement that challenges gender stereotypes and celebrates the resurgence of women in ‘manly roles.’ In this blog, I will explore the inspiring journeys of these trailblazing women, highlighting the importance of visibility and representation in diverse leadership positions.

Female Prime Ministers: Leading Nations with Grace, Empathy and Strength

The journey of women entering the highest echelons of political power has been a long and challenging one. However, the rise of female Prime Ministers, Presidents and heads of state in various countries showcases the strength, intellect, and empathy that women bring to governance. These women have shattered the glass ceiling, proving that leadership knows no gender.

Through their visionary policies and inclusive governance, female political leaders have inspired generations of women to pursue political careers and aspire to lead their nations. The importance of seeing women in such powerful positions cannot be underestimated, as it encourages young girls to dream big and believe in their potential to create positive change on a global scale.

Female Leaders in Tech: Pioneering Innovation and Inclusivity

The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated, but women leaders are changing the narrative. Women at the helm of tech companies are not only driving innovation but also prioritising diversity and inclusivity within their organisations. Their unique perspectives and leadership styles reshape the industry’s culture and foster an environment where all voices are heard and valued.

There are many incredible women I’ve had the honour to work with and learn from during my career. One such leader that I deeply admire is Claire Hawkins, the Global VP of Delivery Services at UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group). Claire’s journey to success showcases the importance of representation in leadership roles within the tech world. Her accomplishments inspire women around her to aim higher and break through the gender norms that have held them back for too long. I have had the opportunity to work with Claire for the past eight years as a UKG Partner.  I admire her strength of character, her knowledge and how she leads her teams.

Another inspiring example of women changing the narrative are Sonya Passi and Chani Nicholas, the builders of the CHANI brand. CHANI is an astrology-focused tech and media company and showing how taking care of your employees while simultaneously giving funds to a social impact organisation can also grow your bottom line.

As exemplified by leaders like Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and a former Google marketing manager at the age of 31, female pioneers in technical roles are redefining the landscape of technology. Susan Wojcicki’s remarkable journey from Google’s first marketing manager to leading one of the world’s largest tech platforms underscores the transformative power of women in the industry. Her resounding success not only shatters stereotypes but also serves as a guiding light for aspiring women in technology. By ascending to the helm of YouTube and being recognised as one of the most influential women in online technology, she showcases that women can thrive and lead in the most technologically advanced and competitive sectors. These trailblazers inspire the next generation of female tech leaders, fostering a sense of empowerment and driving a passion for innovation.

Women in High-Risk Professions: Breaking Physical and Emotional Boundaries

Historically, certain professions have been considered too physically or emotionally demanding for women. However, many women have shattered these misconceptions by excelling in high-risk fields like firefighting, military service, and law enforcement. These women prove that courage, dedication, and determination know no gender boundaries.

Take, for example, my friend Helena. Not only do I think she’s terrific because we’ve been besties for over 20 years, but she is inspiring! She excels in her role as an Account Manager working with building owners to help them optimise efficiencies of their building systems to reduce carbon footprint (a field that remains predominantly male-dominated), but she’s also President of the Coquitlam Search and Rescue team in British Columbia. Helena showcases her courage, strategic thinking, and empathy as she leads her team in saving lives and ensuring safety. On top of all that, she’s raised two fantastic boys as a single Mum. She showcases that gender is no barrier to success, inspiring all who know her and demonstrating that women can excel in any profession with their skills and hard work.

Another of my personal female heroes is my mom, who started her own travel agency almost 40 years ago. As an entrepreneur in the travel industry, she faced numerous challenges in a male-dominated field. However, her passion for travel and unwavering determination enabled her to overcome obstacles and build a successful business.

Growing up, I witnessed her leadership and commitment, and her journey inspired me to believe in the power of breaking stereotypes. Through her example, my mom taught me that women can lead and thrive in business, even in sectors historically dominated by men. Her accomplishments serve as a reminder that pursuing one’s passion, regardless of societal norms, can lead to fulfilling and successful careers.

The increasing visibility of women in ‘manly roles,’ from female Prime Ministers leading nations to women at the forefront of tech companies and high-risk professions, is a testament to the progress we are making as a society. By challenging gender stereotypes and promoting diversity and inclusion, we are unlocking the full potential of human talent and creating a more equitable world for all.

As we celebrate the achievements of these trailblazing women, including my mom, Claire, Sonya, Chani, Susan, Helena, and Claire, it is essential to remember that their success is not just about individual triumphs but about reshaping perceptions and paving the way for future generations. When young girls see women in powerful positions, they begin to believe that they, too, can achieve greatness, regardless of societal expectations.

As we continue to break down barriers and redefine gender roles, let us embrace diversity and champion women from all walks of life. Together, we can build a world where women’s leadership and contributions are celebrated and valued, and everyone can thrive, irrespective of gender.