“My experience of inequality being a female was when I was very young, in an office environment.
It was very clear to me that the women did all the administration for the men to go out and get all the money, and the pay was very different. I didn’t do anything about it directly, I guess, but I was just young, and I think it’s more on reflection I realise that difference, but I did make sure I had the best role available to me. I worked with the strongest males of the company, but soon left after I realised that was as far as I could get. I feel now quite empowered by that, that I made that decision. I also feel really proud that things have moved forward. I realise now, being an older woman, not older woman but, you know, older than I was, that there’s a lot more opportunity now, and I don’t see that divide so much.
I was very fortunate to have a good childhood. A precious childhood moment was probably a birthday party. My mum used to put on really nice birthday parties for us; special cakes, friends, party dresses. You know? All of the little things that make a little girl happy. I have an older sister, two younger brothers, and a Mum and Dad. It was quite a normal upbringing, I guess. We were very lucky. Mum always made sure that we had the best of everything, and because of where I grew up in Brighton, it’s quite a liberal city and you learn a lot about lots of different cultures. So I feel quite lucky to have grown up in that environment.
On postively resolved a problem…
The last time I resolved a problem with somebody in a positive way is probably at my last job. It was generally my job to do that. Working in property you’re always meeting some difficult characters and quite often it was between two individuals. So between two residents there could be a dispute, but it’s always nice to have a positive outcome resolving that.
The way I would resolve a difficult situation with a positive outcome is definitely by listening. It’s always important to repeat the other person’s problem so that you can get a genuine understanding of what might be the issue, and then it’s always good to manage the expectation of that person. So you ah, you try and understand their issue, and understand how they think you can solve it, so that they get what they want, and within your means you try and find an answer.
I’m very lucky to be from Brighton, amongst the LBGT community, I can never say the right letters, but that community is really important for me, and again a strong part of my upbringing. I have many friends within that community. I don’t believe in gender assignment. I think that everybody should be allowed to be themselves, and you shouldn’t have to be labelled.
It’s a double-edged sword; sometimes it’s fabulous to live your dream and your fantasy, but at other times people can pick on you. I think the way I’ve made somebody different to me feel included is just by being friendly. It’s nice if somebody has a voice around them that’s friendly in a situation like that. Smile. You act friendly by smiling and introducing yourself and ask them where they’re from. It could be any situation; a bar, in a shop over a shop counter. So it’s just what make the world goes round, isn’t it?”