Behind every great woman…

01.12.09 | Posted in Women & Business Women In Business

I’m just back from the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards lunch. Whilst I didn’t win either of my categories (I was a finalist in the Business Owner and Young Business Woman categories) I was honoured to be part of the process.

It was beautiful to have my mother in law mouth across the table “I’m so proud of you” while they were announcing the finalists and our achievements. My grandfather, bless him, held my hand while instructing the waiter to fill his glass (Poppy’s partial to unlimited access to wine), telling me I was a winner in his eyes. My father in law came along and joked that he wouldn’t have come if he knew I wasn’t going to win.

My amazing and much loved team were there, as was my good mate (and former Innovation Award Winner) Naomi Simson. She’d organised for another of my best friends, Maria, to be there and it was the best surprise as she lives in Barcelona and I had no idea she was coming. That Simson really is the Queen of Experiences, red balloon in hand or not. EmMariaNaomi

And my hubby was also there, who could forget him?

It was humbling to be in a room with such talent and tenacity but that’s not what touched me most. What I loved hearing about were the women who got up and graciously attributed a large part of their success to their partners and their selflessness.

The winner was…

Luxxotica’s Rhonda Brighton-Hall. She thanked the man she’d ‘left behind in a campervan on top a mountain in Tasmania at 4.45am that morning’. She told us how he’d gotten up, helped her with her bags and sent her on her way to catch a plane to the awards ceremony. Now that’s gender equity and commitment at its best!

We hear a lot about how women support their men, and the delightful irony of the Awards was that we celebrated the contribution of men just as much as we did women. I just found it interesting how the women were so grateful and so quick to acknowledge their partners and I wondered if it would have been the same had it been the other way around?

Does your partner truly support you and what you’re taking on with your career?

Is he there when it counts? Love to know your thoughts.


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  1. Kathryn Dent

    Em, blog looks great and reads exactly like the person who wrote it – warm and effervescent. Congratulations and I look forward to watching it blossom.

  2. Nicole Baines

    Oh how I wish this were true. The sad fact is that many men these days choose to depart from their supportive wives once they hit their stride.

    To all the amazingly loyal and committed women who stood beside their men, lovingly sowing into his family, home and career, only to be left behind when they “make it big” my heart goes out to you, but I encourage you to hold your head high, retain your dignity, remain a woman of love rather than bitterness and hold in your heart the acknowledgement of the vital part you played in his success, even when he can’t do the same….

  3. Maria Sipka

    Em! You are the best! When I think of role models you and Naomi come to mind – always! You light up the room and our life in so many ways. We love you so much! Congratulations – and yes – you are hands down the biggest winner in our eyes. xx

  4. Naomi

    Hee Hee, I think this is the only surprise I’ve ever managed to get you with… Very Sneaky, Very gorgeous… what a fantastic event

  5. Rhonda Brighton-Hall

    Hi Emma,

    My daughter “googled” me and found your blog. She was so pleased to read this about her Mum appreciating her Dad. I am too, and I’m pleased it made an impression.
    I’m always optimistic, but believe there’s a whole different type of man coming through now too. And I’m thinking they fully appreciate the “woman behind them” and often say Thanks. you just to hear it more and more. Or, maybe women in business are now able to be picky and only hang the best guys – the ones who appreciate that their career and their success is never a “one man show” ;o).

    Btw, that lunch was great wasn’t it. What a room full od talent and fun.

    Hope I run into you some day.

    All the best, Rhonda