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Did we just see something change?

November 13, 2009

 (Sarah Beeny photo used with kind permission of Paul Clarke)


After Phillip Hofmeyr’s guest  post on this site, it feels like a bit too much to be blogging about Social Media 09 again , so thought it made sense to just signpost some of the other thoughts, comments, resources coming out of yesterday’s conference.


The main themes: that ‘old’/’trad’ media works, and that old and  ‘social’ media work together, well, when done properly; that government agencies actually seem to be understanding and using the listening bit of social media better than many commercial brands; and that celebrity is still a high value currency.


So what did Social Media 09 change? For me this was big. SarahBeeny reached out to cuddle her crying baby. Safely nestled against her, the crying stopped and she carried on presenting.


However you choose to read this –  motherhood has become an acceptable part of womanhood and can blend easily with business; that babies are the greatest fashion accessory ever; women have to juggle so much – this is the first time I have seen a serious, successful  professional business person outside of a parenting related business acknowledge that side of themselves so openly. Received wisdom is that children and business don’t mix.


I have at times had to take my own children to meetings and sat them in the corner with a box of Lego or colouring books, plying them with sweet sticky drinks they’re not normally allowed as a bribe, praying that they won’t get bored too quickly.


Full marks to Sarah. The support that is being shown for her on-line may mark a major sea change. Juggling children and careers has never been easy whatever your gender. Has the time come for us all to just stand up and be counted, to acknowledge that children are an important part of our lives, and start helping each other to juggle? Not in a formal, nursery at work sense, but in a human, children are people too, adults are parents too, sense.


We might even find that we are paid back with a generation of young adults who don’t see business as dull and grey, and who bring to the table a whole range of new and exciting ideas?

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