"Being a woman equals power" / by Tamara Sredojevic

I met Kate at work, at my day job. Kate has been a very important source of knowledge in her field for me when I joined the company. But more than this, Kate has shown kindness in moments of doubt and I’ve often felt like she would be an exceptional mentor to any young woman, whether in life or at work.

She is one of these people who you can tell has worked hard to get where she is and will continue to do so, because that’s who she is - a warrior. And like any warrior I know, there is a depth of emotions knocking at the door sometimes. That gives me hope in the warrior / emotional woman combination. It is possible to be both. Kate is proof of that.

We met for lunch at Waterloo station, where she let me record her personal reflexions on what she believes in.

Kate

Being a woman equals power 

Kate

 

What does trust mean for you?

Kate - Trust, for me, is integral in every relationship in my life. If trust is lost, for me, then, I pretty much have to end the relationship… be that a professional relationship, personal relationship… My values are that I have integrity and I’m a very honest person and that’s what I expect from other people. And I think I’m open enough for people to be honest with me, even if they think I don’t want to hear what they’ve got to say. And I think that because I put myself out there and be that open, that when somebody isn’t honest with me, it really goes against one of my core values.

What does it mean to be a woman?

Kate - I think my answer is different now than it would have been even two years ago. But, to me, being a woman equals power. I think we have the power to be compassionate, to be open and loving, to heal others. I think we’re not afraid to be vulnerable, which is one of the great things which is taught to us as young girls: our vulnerability is something to be celebrated. That allows us to be really open with others and to accept people for who they are. Power comes in many forms, to some people, it might only be seen as being strong and assertive or aggressive or getting your own way. But actually power can take the form of vulnerability and accepting our weaknesses. And accepting that sometimes even when there are weaknesses, it’s a positive. So I think being able to be a woman, especially in our society right now where those things are being celebrated, is really a powerful thing.

 

Is there anything you believe in?

Kate - Nothing can stop me. That as long as I’m following my values and checking in with myself that what I’m doing is the right thing, then I can achieve anything I want. And that’s what I believe in. That helps when you’re going through tough times and the world throws you curve balls, as it always does… It doesn’t matter how senior you become, how skilled or famous or celebrated you become as a person, life is going to throw you curve balls. And if you’re going into this situation knowing “nothing can stop me, I can deal with anything”, it gives you amazing confidence. On a personal level as well… I’m not going to say I believe in God, cuz I don’t. But I don’t not believe in Him. I also believe in energy. I believe that what you contribute and project out into the world is mirrored back to you. And I believe that not enough of us see life as a journey and that the person I am today isn’t the person I am going to be tomorrow and isn’t the person I was three days ago.

Is there anything you hide from yourself or from others?

Kate - I hide that I’m not as confident as I may appear to others. I hide the fact that I think very deeply about the things that I do and say, even after I’ve said them. From myself… I think I hide the good things about me. Because I’ve spent so long just listening to the negative voice in my head that it takes time to delete that negative voice and a lot of work. So for instance I was sitting on the train this morning thinking “oh, when I’m thin…”, and I thought “Kate, you’re sitting in size 12 trousers, that is not fat by any stretch of the imagination”. I’m having to constantly challenge that negative self-talk. And it took me a long time to even be aware of that. That’s what I’ve realised I hide from myself.

Is there anything you’re afraid of?

Kate - I’m afraid of lying on my deathbed and looking back and having regrets. I’m afraid of thinking I didn’t achieve what I could have achieved in life, that I didn’t love to my fullest, that I didn’t contribute in the way that I know I can, that I didn’t make a difference. And I don’t mean making a difference on the grandest scale, just to, everyday, to a person in the street that I didn’t reach them and make a difference for them.

What are you grateful for?

Kate - I’m grateful for everything that life has shown me, has thrown at me, continues to show me, continues to challenge me with. I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to build up in my life, in terms of material things but also in terms of my skills and my knowledge. The one thing I am grateful for is that I’ve found my mojo. I’ve found what I’m good at.