This morning I was chuffed to wake up to a WhatsApp message from one of my boyz, James, who owns ace PR company Compass Media Relations. Along with my snoozed alarm, James was already buzzing with news and a cheeky snippet from the Western Mail 35 under 35 list where he’d spotted a familiar face!
At 28, it’s pretty overwhelming to be featured alongside 34 other women who are killing it in the business world in Wales.
Since this morning my phone has been seriously going off non-stop. It’s 2pm and I have 10% battery left!
When the list came out one of the younger girls in my office (six years younger than me) said ‘we want to be on that list soon’. Warm and fuzzy was definitely the phrase that came to mind. To think that I might have have even a tiny effect on helping the girls I work with think big was awesome to say the least. It got me thinking about the last four years and how local women and men I see as role-models have influenced me. In business (and life?) it’s a common trope to say that by surrounding yourself by successful people then you’ll become more successful yourself.
— Cassandra Bodington (@actioncass) August 16, 2017
I think role-modelling as well as peer-to-peer mentoring is incredibly important, which is why I set up Re:Program with my partner in crime Lyanna in 2015. It’s also why I am on the board for Social Enterprise Full Circle Education. I also see Nikki and Lyanna as awesome role-models and massive supports to myself and everyone they touch.
The list also got me thinking about responsibility. In a position of privilege, with press coverage or a large network I think it’s important that everyone in this list always thinks larger than themselves. Whilst I was incredibly grateful to be featured I realised that next year I should really make time to go and nominate the amazing people I know, who support me too and who inspire me. Loads of people don’t realise that these lists are usually created through open nominations available online. I think this is incredibly important to raise and share as widely as possible to ensure that the list is an accurate representation of the business world in Wales, in terms of age ranges, locality, industry as well as diversity, which drastically needs improvement in Wales – especially in tech and digital. You don’t need a PR contract to be in this list, I’m sure it might help but personally I’ve never paid a PR agency a penny. If you’re mentoring or coaching someone, or even if you just want to give someone a kick to reach their fuller potential, send them the list and say – I want to see you here in X amount of years.
When women support each other amazing things can happen after all.
Massive shout out to the amazing women and men featured this year, and to the journos at Media Wales for highlighting the achievements of young people in Wales.