Street Talk: Meet three way-making Cambridge women
Our new series sees Velvet’s Riadh Falvo meet the people who make our places tick. This month, she takes a walk along Cambridge’s Trumpington Street - and talks to three way-making women
Katie Halstead, graduate at Judge Business School
“I would actually argue that the original CEO is a mother. I do feel really lucky that we live in an age where we can be part of the business world now. I know that there have always been outliers throughout history, but it has changed. There still needs to be some recalibration. You can’t be expected to be the CEO of a huge company and the CEO of a household. So I’m hoping society can find a way.
“What I love being about a woman is the depth of female friendship; the women who will always be there to share a packet of crisps, sing off-tune in the car, send pump-up voice notes, dissect Taylor Swift lyrics, wax lyrical about each other’s merits, and squeeze your hand to let you know they love you when you’re going through it - how could that ever get old?”
Jovana Knezevic, Masters student at Selwyn College
“When I started to work in the tech industry in my first company, I was the only woman engineer out of 70 employees at the time; then at Google there were more women. Once you have a team that has a lot of women, they attract more women. I think one of the biggest problems in this industry is that everyone talks about wanting diversity, but it feels like it’s all about diversity on paper and to state ‘I have this many women’, not about diversity of thought and diversity of experience.
“I often felt that in the business world, it was the world of men, and then women came, and then the world didn’t change at all. Women were supposed to adapt; in our own efforts to show that we’re equal, we’ve tried to change and become how men are. We become more like men, and we lose the diversity. So what is the point of having this diversity if we’re going to become exactly the same?”
Jacqueline James, retired GP and author
“I know that I am not the only woman who tends to put everyone else’s needs before her own; who will feel guilty for taking time for herself. General practice gave me a wonderful, worthwhile and satisfying career but it wasn’t until I retired that I gave myself permission to do something for myself.
“I had always written as a means of processing my feelings, but until I discovered writing fiction, I kept little of what I wrote. When I retired and allowed myself the space to write, to learn a new skill, to stretch myself, a feeling of self fulfilment grew. A feeling that I had uncovered my true self. Short stories led to a novel and then another. . .
“Now I write ordinary stories about ordinary people. My characters’ lives mirror facets of my own life experiences and in exploring their fictional world, I have developed a deeper understanding of myself.”
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