Deputy Governor’s rallying cry to women
Women should feel powerful — no matter what role they play in society, the Deputy Governor has said.
Alison Crocket said that employment and gender did not define people as she launched a campaign to find two girls aged 14 to 18 who will shadow her on International Women’s Day next month.
She added that her career had included a variety of different jobs and she picked up her skills along the way.
Ms Crocket admitted young people, especially women, sometimes struggled with their body image but said beauty comes from inside.
She explained: “I think people can be beautiful in lots of different ways, I think narrowing your vision of ‘what does beautiful look like?’ is where it all goes wrong.
“Women are fabulously beautiful in all shapes and sizes and in all walks of life. You don’t need to be a CEO or a prime minister or whatever.
“In my life, I’ve been a full-time mum, a waitress, a social worker, an unemployed person — I’ve been lots of things and I’ve always looked the same.
“I think the important thing is to enjoy the thing you’re doing now and feel powerful in the thing you’re doing now, rather than think that always somebody is more powerful, or if you’re not in this job that you’re not a powerful person.
“You can find your own power inside yourself — your job shouldn’t define you any more than your gender should.”
Ms Crocket, the mother of two adult daughters, said she feared there were “extreme” risks for young women in the social media age, although she insisted instant communication was both “a huge benefit and a challenge”.
She added: “It’s very easy to believe that everyone else has a perfect life on social media because we see snippets of everyone else’s life, they seem to be happier, better off, better looking, more active.
“It’s easy to feel despondent about your life as a teenager at a time when you’re already vulnerable and conscious of your own vulnerabilities and imperfections, I think it makes it worse to that extent.”
Ms Crocket said although many of the problems faced by teenagers have been the same for decades, there was now a “danger of them being much more public and therefore the humiliation is greater when they go wrong”.
After a post as head of the Foreign Office’s Anti-Corruption Unit, based in London, she was sworn in to her latest role last July.
She earlier worked in Geneva, Switzerland, and Vienna, in Austria.
The 56-year-old, originally from Scotland, said: “My teenage self would never have believed that she would be here in Bermuda as a Deputy Governor, not in a million years.
“I left school without any formal qualifications and I gathered my formal qualifications as life went on ... every time I’ve changed into something else it’s been because that thing looks interesting,
“I’ve never had a clear life path of ‘this is what I want to do and this is what I want to achieve and these are my dreams’.”
She added: “I would not do it differently and sometimes it’s the most unexpected paths that you take that lead you to even more interesting and fun things in the future.”
Ms Crocket said she was “really loving” Bermuda and found its people charming and open-hearted.
She added she had also noticed a strong female presence on the island and that she hoped these women would help inspire candidates in her IWD campaign.
Ms Crocket said: “I do think it’s important for women to be present and active in all roles and I see that in Bermuda.
“There are women in the most senior positions in Government, in business and across the board.
“There are some extremely powerful women characters across Bermuda and that’s one of the things that has struck me since I got here.”
Ms Crocket said Michelle Obama, the “remarkable” wife of former US president Barack Obama, was among her own inspirations.
But she added women did not need a high profile to figure on her list of influential women.
Ms Crocket said: “My grandmother was a very short, fierce Irishwoman who raised eight children through the war in dire circumstances in Newcastle, a mining town, and kept them all alive, which in itself was a major achievement and taught us all incredible survival skills.”
• To become #DeputyGovernorForTheDay, girls aged 14 to 18 can submit a one-minute video clip on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags: #DeputyGovernorForTheDay #AmbassadorForADay #BalanceforBetter #IWD2019 They should use the video to talk about women’s rights problems they want tackled. Applications opened on February 18, with a deadline of February 28. The winners will be notified on March 4. They must be available and have permission from parents, guardians and teachers to spend the day with the Deputy Governor on International Women’s Day on March 8. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org