Women Leaders

I am a passionate person and have a long term goal of becoming a manager and being a role model for women. So when a friend of mine questioned why a women was leading instead of a man, a few strings were tugged. Not only that, but these figures show that something is not right:

  • “In the FTSE 100, for example, 12.5% of directors are women” (Forbes, 2011)
  • “Global average annual earnings for women are 11k, compared to men’s earnings of 21k” (Deloitte press release, June 10, 2015)
  • “Around the world, women are paid less than men, in most countries earning on average 60%-75% of men’s wages” (World Bank Gender Data Portal, 2015)
  • “Women bear disproportionate caring responsibility for children, the elderly and the sick, spending as much as ten times more time a day on unpaid care work than men” (World Bank)

I understand that people have grown up in different cultures, where jobs and positions are associated with a certain gender.

Despite this, I would just like to say that I do not fully support this statement. With equality in mind, we should acknowledge that either men or women can take positions in management and assumptions that men are better leaders than women should definitely be reconsidered. I am by no means saying that women are always better leaders than men, I am however asking people to open up their minds and change their perception.

lean in.jpg
Sheryl Sandberg’s biography

My inspiration for this issue arose after reading a biography by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She is defying all assumptions around women and leadership. Her Book named “Lean In” brings up varying reasons why less women are leaders. She highlights that men are assumed to possess leadership qualities and have been brought up to higher standards of jobs. It has been etched into men’s minds that they are meant to lead. This is a contrast to women who are generally given lower standards and are not encouraged to strive into high management positions, instead they are seen more as the loving and caring kind who are fit for less controlling positions.So when women are faced with male leaders, there is some speculation in their minds on whether they should be there and whether they should sit at that table with the men where they belong. This speculation links to how they were brought up and can limit their confidence to defy what they were told and encouraged to do when they were younger.Another concept brought up by Sheryl Sandberg includes the characteristics and qualities of leaders.


When men lead, it is seen as initiative, while in contrast women are seen as bossy (Sandberg, 2013)

Women are also less liked in general if they show these qualities. So what should we do? Sit back and let them lead or prove to them that we are capable by making our way to the top?

I know what I would do… I mean you will still be paid less and will be seen less favourably than men, but it only takes a few women to take the challenge, to encourage other women to do it too! This can change the cultural norm and encourage change in society.

A few women have already done it and made their way to the top of their desired industry. Well-known figures include Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama and Opra Winfrey who have all made it into the list of the 100 top powerful women 2016 by Forbes Magazine.

If you agree with this or have any questions, feel free to comment. This is just my opinion, and is by no means right. Please do not take any offense!


Forbes. (2016). The World’s 100 Most Power Women. Available: http://www.forbes.com/power-women/#/tab:overall. Last accessed 22nd June 2016.

Sandberg, S. (2013). Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. United Kingdom: Ebury Publishing.

Smith, L. (2016). International Women’s Day 2016: Ten facts, figures and statistics about women’s rights. Available: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/international-womens-day-2016-ten-facts-figures-statistics-about-womens-rights-1548083. Last accessed 22nd June 2016.

Toegel, G. (2011). Disappointing Statistics, Positive Outlook. Available: http://www.forbes.com/2011/02/18/women-business-management-forbes-woman-leadership-corporate-boards.html. Last accessed 22nd June 2016


Narrow Boating to Cambridge

Our narrow boat trip to Cambridge


We set off early on Friday morning in the car to Ely to collect the boat. It was a long drive, but eventually we arrived. We parked in the car park to see damaged narrow boats – we got worried that we would have an old boat. We were shown to a nice looking blue boat named “Muscadet”, our home for the next three days. We were quite relieved. It was what we expected – but more narrow.

The space was small but big enough for us. The captain started the boat and took us out onto the canal after instructions from the guy. We went slow but it gave us a chance to get used to the steering. I took over the boat for a bit and it took a while to get used to it. I steered into a few rowers and nearly bumped into the banks.

We made our way to The Five Miles from Anywhere pub and hydrated our thirst! We stopped on a slipway and for half an hour, blocking locals from launching the boat into the water. We got a bit of stick from the locals so decided to move on quickly.

Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub
A good old pint to keep us going!

We continued full steam ahead and stopped at the Bridge Hotel with our friends and family and had a classic pub lunch. This is where we stayed over night.

Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub

The sun was shining into my eyes and I woke up to find that it was 6 in the morning. At this point I had a bad sleep and decided to go for a walk with the captain. After a full breakfast and tea we were all ready to go! We set off in good time and I took more charge of the boat  – making our way down the canal and trying to avoid boats and rowers! We met friends at a Loch and my parents bricked it. I had caused a tidal wave when lifting the gate on the loch. Oops. We made our way to Cambridge and arrived at 11.30. We hydrated ourselves in Fen Delton at the Plough Inn with a nice beer. This was essential as “what’s a holiday without regular pub stops”! We continued the journey to be reunited with more friends and indulged in another pub lunch. The beef and ale pie was simply irresistible.We then went into town for a walk and a bit of shopping. Who could forget shopping on a holiday. We returned to the boat to get ready for our evening meal at Magdalene College. I would recommend a hotel room for this as we seem to appreciate a big shower and space far too much. I realised the when we were fighting for the mirror and shower. We eventually left for the meal with the boat facing downstream. We had a set, delicious three course meal and made sure that we all had a few nice drinks in the pub.

Sunday (Morning)After a meal in Magdalene college Cambridge, we returned to the boat facing upstream and went to bed; only to realise the a few of our dinner guests had rotated the boat 180 degrees at 2am when we were all asleep. Despite this, they did us a favour and turned the boat around for us. We took friends on a tour the later that morning and  made sure that we stopped at the nearest pub! We dropped them back off outside their hotel after our pint and finally made our way back to Eily, concluding our journey. We moored by the Five Miles from Anywhere pub, had a lovely meal and were grateful that our boat was safe and would not be moved in the night!

Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad at the Five Miles from Anywhere pub


It was an early start this morning as we all had to pack up our stuff. We travelled for 45 mins up the canal and arrived in Ely
in time for the handover. It was now time to hand the boat over. It was sad as we all had enjoyed the trip more than we expected and were now converted narrow boaters.

Based on the trip and our my experience, I have devised pros and cons of narrow boating:


  • It is relaxing.
  • You can see swans and birds – be one with nature.
  • You can rev the engine to your hearts content (up to 4 or 7 mph).
  • You feel part of the canal community and can wave/bond with other canal users.
  • The canal gets you away from the digital world and busy cities .
  • The boat has a kitchen and good sized living room and sleeping areas.
  • You can make multiple pub stops to keep you hydrated up and down the canal.
Parking over the slipway at the Five Miles from Anywhere Pub


  • It can be a bit rocky, especially when people are getting on and off.
  • The beds are very small and you may fall out on a few occasions.
  • It could get boring at times as there is little technology.
  • If you have muscle or strength you may be required to moor the boat, help with locks and assist with ropes and boat turning. Watch out!
Trying to pass the time by drawing the landscape!


Despite this, I would recommend narrow boating to anyone. It was peaceful and gave me time to yourself. You can steer the boat fast or idly and feel part of a community and nature. There are enough facilities on the boat to stock up with beers and food, to make your weekend fun!

EU Dilemma 

Everyone is talking about the European Union vote on the 23rd June. With all the news coverage about it,  it is starting to get confusing. The main issue I have is that there is so much riding on this decision. What we put on that polling card will decide our future, especially the younger generations.
To help put my mind at rest and decide, I am going to write pros and cons of remain and leave. This is just an opinion, I am by no means saying that this is fully accurate or the best option.

Firstly I feel that if we remain in the EU, we can retain our cheaper trade deals and help UK industries such as the steel industry grow. Additionally to this, the EU provides the UK power around decision making, alongside the other influential countries. The NHS also is at risk if we leave the EU. This is according to Simon Stephens who states that the NHS requires additional funding that the EU can provide. The EU also provides the UK with skilled migrants who can fill in UK job shortages, helping the economy to grow. One area includes doctors.

To contradict this, exiting the EU can save the UK money. With no requirement to pay the EU budget, the UK can save up to 13 million which can be invested into public services such as the NHS. With an independent position from the EU, the UK can further control their borders, helping to reduce conflicts from other country members.

So based on my analysis, I know what I am going to vote. If you have any opinions or questions, please comment. For more details on whether to stay or leave the EU, go to http://www.theweek.co.uk/eu-referendum .

Should we stay or leave the EU?

My name is Honor Hierons and I will be graduating from York St John November this year. I am originally from Newcastle but moved to York to study Business Management at York St John.

Every student will think about the transition to a graduate  – some will look forward to finishing their degree and chilling, while many, like me, will worry about their career.

You would assume that being a graduate would make you stand out in the job market, and graduates did for a while when fewer people went to university. In today’s world, it is so much harder to get a job. I have been applying for graduate schemes and marketing jobs since September and nothing has come along. Yes I have got a few interviews but nothing has developed past that.

I hoped that my life would have changed dramatically. That I would be in a job that I would enjoy and be able to start my career. Instead, I have moved home with a routine gym session in the morning and Orange is the new black in the afternoon.

This is a harsh reality that all students face when applying for full time Jobs. There is an uncertainty as generally students lack experience and I’m not surprised after being in full time education. As well as this, moving away from your university friends can be hard and some days you wish you could just live like a student again.

The thing is… you just have to keep going and applying. Whether it is a job just to get you experience or your dream position or company, it will still make you more employable. 

Hopefully this blog can reach out to those in the same position as myself and encourage you to all keep going – to keep pushing through those applications. Your perfect job will come along!

That is all from me but if you would like to ask anything or suggest future blogs, I would love to hear from you! 🙂