I was amused to hear that the 300 year old Law of Royal Succession was about to be changed to allow the first born child of William and Kate to become the next in line for the Throne irrespective of the child being female. Given its now the 21st Century and over 80 years since universal suffrage this does not seem unreasonable! Whilst I am not a monarchist at heart and listen to debates about all things Royal with some bemusement I have to say the more I see of the Queen the more I warm to her as a person.
While she was touring Australia she launched the theme of ‘Women as agents of change.’ I always worry about the term ‘agents of change’ as it is a stock corporate phrase that more often than not is completely meaningless. I have to admit that I was once anointed as an ‘agent of change’ in a major corporation. The change they managed was to completely screw up the Company and reduce the business to a shadow of its former self! Too often the rhetoric is not reflected in the actions.
However past experiences notwithstanding I think it would be churlish and short-sighted to write off this initiative and indeed potentially it could be the rallying call we all need.
But we need to be clear what ‘women as agents of change’ really means, whether there will be any tangible actions, and how we will measure success? One of the areas she (should that be a capital She?) highlighted was economic growth and I can’t help thinking that helping and encouraging women to start up their own businesses would be a positive action and one that could be measured quite easily.
The good news is that the new generation of young women think very differently to past generations. Recent research by Dubit amongst 16-24 year olds found that 60% of these young females were interested in setting up their own businesses.
Who knows, maybe the female progeny of the Royal couple may choose to become a business woman rather than enter the military, become equestrians or socialites with funny hats. What a statement that would make!
At www.womensbusinessweb.co.uk we intend to take up the challenge of ‘women as agents of change’. We will report on our progress.