Ahead of this year’s Changing the Ratio, B&T is sitting down with some of our kick-ass speakers to get an insight into what they’re currently up to, and what they’ll be talking about on the day.
Oh, and if you don’t have your tickets yet, buy them here.
Jo Stone, blissful breadwinner
Ask Jo Stone to describe herself in three words and she’ll say: energetic, driven and curious. These three words have shaped her successful rise from a senior executive in multinationals to most recently a business owner helping organisations put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Most interestingly, however, is how Jo also leads a life that bucks social convention. She is the primary breadwinner with a stay-at-home husband helping raise her young family. And now, she’s passionate about empowering professional women to build a blissful life on their own terms.
Jo is one of our amazing speakers at Changing the Ratio, and on the day will be talking about leading an unconventional life, answer the question: What happens when you live a life contrary to stereotype?
Speaking to B&T on her “unconventional” career trajectory and how she founded her consulting business, Jo said she was sick of seeing women “tapped on the shoulder” for high potential programs with huge opportunities ahead of them, but “deep down were drowning in guilt and felt like a failure”.
Jo said: “They felt like a failure as a mother, felt like a failure at work and they spent their lives running as if they should be somewhere else. They spent their time at home feeling like they should be at work, and then they spend their time at work, loving what they do, but then thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to get a birthday party organised. How am I going to manage this?’ And so they end up overwhelmed, guilty and stressing themselves into burnout.
“I was just amazed at how many women are on the verge of burnout in senior positions. It was just heartbreaking because they want to work, they love to work. And yet they’re considering pulling back. They’re considering going part-time, which they don’t want to do, but they don’t know any other way to manage.”
Jo said she had countless women coming to her and asking her how she managed to live a balanced life, without burning out. That’s when she starting sharing her journey of how to be successful in life to get what she wants, rather than feel like she’s living someone else’s life.
“I’m helping this growing and important cohort of women in corporates who need these women; these women are in the middle to senior management. They want to work, they’re the future CEOs , future COOs, the future of agencies. We’ve got to protect these women and make sure that they’re able to live a holistic life, because the moment, no one’s helping them.”
On whether she thinks as a society we’re doing enough to help women and promote gender inclusion, Jo said she believes the workforce is trying, but it’s getting “stuck”.
“From where I sit, what’s usually holding women back from wanting board positions or from wanting to move up the ladder is the fact that those who do have children, which is let’s face it, the majority of women, are worried that they’re going to break or they’re going to lose their family if they do. Because, the only option they think they have is to either burn-out or end up in divorce. So we need to change their thinking.”
You can hear more from Jo on leading an unconventional life at B&T‘s Changing the Ratio.
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