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#ThrowDownTheLadder

Thoughts on being a mentor and why women should champion other women.

It’s not often we touch on the subject of feminism here on Style Tribe, but we’d like to think we’re an inherently feminist business. We think men and women should be equal in the workplace and everywhere else.

In fact, it’s thanks to a series of inspiring women that this company was formed. From the female agency boss who showed me how to interpret a brief and kick ass in meetings, to the accountant who made me realise we can do anything we put our minds to (by running two of her own businesses, bringing up five kids and beating cancer all at once); if I hadn’t met these women and learned from them, I wouldn’t be on the road I’m on right now.

Tina Fey, being the legend that she is, once said:

“Don’t get too comfortable being the only woman in the room. Remember to try to find opportunities to bring other women in – to throw the rope down. I try to tell young women – don’t be tricked into thinking that you’re in the field to compete with other women.”

I’ve been lucky enough to have some totally brilliant women who were willing to throw the rope down for me so I could climb the career ladder. Now I’m looking forward to my opportunity to throw it down to someone else.

Our monthly #BlogClub meetings here in Bristol are a chance to do just that – it’s where I go to meet fellow bloggers and I always come out with so many tips. The enthusiasm of the group is infectious and if there’s anyone who knows more about WordPress widgets and other bloggy tech tidbits than this lot, I’ve yet to find them!

In particular I’ve loved getting to know the younger ones, who are just at the start of their blogging journey. They’ve got none of that complacency that we more experienced bloggers sometimes get after having done it for a living for so long. They simply have a passion for what they do.

One of them told me once that she considered me a mentor and, once I’d gotten over how scary that word was (surely I’m not old enough to be one of those?!), I realised that it’s actually pretty cool. Sure, I’ve made my share of mistakes, but if someone else can benefit from that experience, isn’t that just fabulous? I still have my mentors that I look up to and learn from, and now I’m getting to a place where I can pay all that forward. And I plan to make a conscious effort to do that more.

So now I’m encouraging you all to do the same. Wherever you are in your journey, there’s someone else who’s trying to follow in your footsteps. Make sure you throw down the ladder and give one of your sisters a leg-up. You never know, she might do the same for you one day.

Tweet us @StyleTribeUK with your thoughts on #ThrowDownTheLadder