When I was younger there was a clear choice for women, choose a career or look to build a family. The additional caveat to this was that there were many careers in which women just couldn’t work, finance and business for example. I have seen in my lifetime the most incredible shift in attitudes when it comes to what women can do with their lives, and it has been driven by amazing women like Kelly Curia-Schmidt, a friend of mine who as a young girl, decided to buck the trend. We have come such a long way and it is about time that we have our gratitude to people like Kelly.

The Changing Shape of Industry

Slowly but surely we have managed to change the perception of industries such as finance which were for such a long time heavily male dominated. The way in which we had to change this was through suffering. Kelly was subjected to all kinds of awful comments in the workplace and she would face it all with a smile. Kelly always had to work harder than the rest because of the fact that she, as a woman, was being held to a very different standard. As women like Kelly survived and thrived in these industries, they were able to reach managerial positions and then bring the rest of us girls through.

Managing Both

The notion that you could only have a career or a family was always absurd but it took many women to do bth before people stood up and realized that it was something that was achievable. Much of this was the aftereffects of the ‘women should stay at home’ attitude which blighted us for decades. Kelly had her first child when she was already a manager in the world of finance, she actually didn’t tell her boss until she was forced to through fear of being fired. Kelly and her husband both held busy jobs but they made it work, they used the support of friends and family, they paid for some hired help and they were very attentive with their kids. The key, ironically, to a career woman being a great mother comes down to the support around her, including from her husband. As we have shown time and time again that we can be a mother with a career, attitudes have shifted even further.

Legal

Finally the law was changed in a way that would back us career women up, no longer would we lose jobs or be passed over on jobs simply because we had kids or we were going to have kids. Thankfully this is something which employers cannot do, and the reason for this implementation of the law was because of amazing women like Kelly Curia-Schmidt who looked at society and its attitudes, and decided instead to blaze her own trail based on the decisions which she wanted to make.

We have come a long way ladies, let’s celebrate that.