Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just sayin...

We are advocates because we feel passionately about something, and we use our voices to try and help get stuff done. There is so little being done that every single one of our voices is as valuable as the next persons, and believe me there is more than enough room for every single voice, in fact we have so much room we could rent out places in the cancer community for advocates voices. 

What gets me and that is why I am sharing this today is that an advocates voice is a sacred voice and it should never be made to feel by anyone or any other organisation like it is doing the wrong thing, not saying the right thing or just  not as valuable as what they have to offer.
We are not in the school yard anymore.  I have worked in environments that looking back on it now my hair stands on end. There was a job I had not so long ago and I still can’t think about what happened without wincing. But they were jobs…jobs I didn’t feel that passionately about either, and hey who doesn’t run up against quite a bit of sh## in their working life at some point or another.

This is different though. The work we do as advocates is so important. It is so valuable and it is also important that we feel comfortable and free in the space so we can do our best work. I am still reading Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In at the moment and she talks about women ditching the Queen Bee mentality, she asks us as women to stop thinking there has to just be one woman on top to get anything done in this world, we need to start thinking about a hive, a busy hive full of productive equals empowering one another.

Taking gender out of it, this actually counts for all of us male and female, and there is a no more important time to make sure we  shape our thinking like this, when we look at our work in the cancer community. We need to have a hive mentality. There is so much to do and every thought, contribution, word, action and voice counts -  equally.

I am just sayin…


  1. Great piece Vanessa. Ties in nicely with Yvonne's piece on group think. We need a variety of input and influence and voices. You cannot get all the answers from one person, source or mentality. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback and your support as always Marie! Yes this was on my mind and I felt I needed to just say it. Thank you!

  2. I just want to thank you for your words above, it is so refreshing to come across such an open and all embracing attitude - I love the Queen Bee analogy.

    I always say to the people I advocate alongside, I don't see us as competitors, I see us comrades... comrades that are in this fight together against a formidable foe.

    As you say, there is enough space for all of us and IF all of us come together and each bring something different to the table then we will truly be a true force for good.

    I am honoured to be in your hive!

  3. Shu Thank you. Great words and 100 % agree. I think we know more than ever right now with all the collaborative efforts we are part of just how much the Hive truly works and it is the only way forward.

    In fairness to the " Queen Bee" Sheryl Sandberg points out that society as it has been constructed was the architect of that and very strong women who wanted to get stuff done felt they had to be this way. I see in myself there was a time I did this a little too.

    But we must change, it doesn't work and as modern work environments start to evolve and realize that community minded ness is the way ahead, both sexes will enable this change to happen.

    As women we must lead though. Instead of being Queen Bees we need to be the Hive facilitators and show men and women this is the way ahead.

    Ooh I think I'm finally accessing my inner feminist...just all that burn the bra stuff was so off putting when we where younger....much prefer Sheryl Sandbergs feminism...oh and she isn't saying the men are enemies which is blooming nice too.