London recently said goodbye to one of its most important women, a woman who has been both hated and loved, criticized and praised, but who undoubtedly made a difference in a country and whose name will always remain engraved in history. This week Britain paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher, the emblematic example of a woman who made it to the top, one who worked hard as a woman to establish her role in the political arena — overtly male-dominated since the most remote centuries. Although Thatcher was the first and only female prime minister in the history of Britain, she was never intimidated, forging an era in politics and proving at the same time that a woman can lead a country as well as be a wife and a mother.
Before Thatcher, Britain had never allowed a woman to be part of politics; men were too proud of their status of dominance and — let’s not be scared of saying this — of their intellectual predominance to let a woman discuss a country’s welfare let alone guide it. That would have meant being overcome by a lady — desecration!
But, indeed, Thatcher was capable of making a difference. Her charismatic personality not only guided one of the most powerful countries in the world, but she also successfully restored it, establishing Britain’s influence worldwide. When in 1975 she came to the Cabinet, all eyes were upon her — everyone wanted to see what this woman was capable of, what her interests were outside politics, how her family life was, even the clothes she wore. All over the world people wanted to see what this female power was like.
Margaret Thatcher was driven by leadership in full awareness that no other woman before her had ever flown that high, that in that historical moment she was the embodiment of a total revolution in this sense and many were not expecting greatness from her actions. All her life she worked hard to prove against all these prejudices — to prove that, as a woman, she was no less than a man but felt even better perhaps and wanted to prove her status. But, in spite of her efforts, she never showed off a pro-feminist kind of attitude — she never publicly pretended to act as a man to gain consents as a woman. She was proud of being a woman, and she never needed to wear trousers in order to feel closer to the fellow men in the Cabinet!
What is foremost admirable in Margaret, what really made her gain that well-known nickname of “Iron Lady,” was, in my opinion, what she had been capable of outside the unremarkable service she provided. She gained power, but this didn’t prevent her from being a woman in its full meaning — she was capable of building a family while guiding Britain through harsh times. This is female power.
Margaret Thatcher is the image women nowadays should bear in mind while building their path through the business world. She is the example of a woman who was confident of her capabilities, of what she could achieve, and who looked at the massive challenge she came to face with strength. Whether you believed in her political party, her actions or even her as a person is irrelevant — she was a woman in a man’s world, as many ladies are today in hospitality. She had a love for what she was doing, and she never thought that being a woman could prevent her from achieving the top. On the contrary, she always found this to be the source from which her power came.
As a business woman, I wanted to pay a small tribute to this exceptional female leader, and to share this with all the women reading this blog hoping that you, as myself, find in her life an inspiration to carry on building your path as the future leaders in the business world.