Should auld acquaintance [not] be forgot: Remembering what 2015 taught us and looking forward – Fiona Tatton, Womanthology Editor

New Year 2016
Fiona Tatton - Womanthology Founder and Editor

Fiona Tatton

2015 – things just got serious

So it’s almost the end of 2015. I’m sat here typing as everyone else who has the option and is sensible is slipping off home to be with their nearest and dearest. It’s the twilight zone just before Christmas starts. All the office parties are done, most people have signed off for the year and it’s only the last few hardcore workers who are still hard at it. Of course for some, like those in the emergency services and those in the service industries the hard work continues, or is just getting started. I wish you luck if you’re office based and you’re trying to get anything done between now and 4th January though.

2015 is the year the year that things got real and serious for Womanthology as we grew up. Writing and editing the magazine went from a hobby alongside my full time role to a ‘proper’ vocation as things have grown beyond what I could ever have imagined.

For the holiday season I’ve put together a collection of some of the features that I get asked about frequently. I hope you enjoy them.

Auld acquaintance

Editing Womanthology is a lot about discovering new stories from new women (and men) who are, as Steve Jobs would describe it, the ‘crazy’ ones, the mavericks, the feisty ones who go the extra mile and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I love putting together a new edition and finding new stories to share. Preparing a new edition is the definition of a labour of love – it’s never easy but if it was easy it wouldn’t mean so much.

Fresh faces are a key part of the magazine as it’s the contributors who are the lifeblood of what I’m putting together. On the plus side here, there are so many fascinating stories to share that would otherwise never end up getting told that we will never run out of material. As important as the fresh faces are the ‘auld acquaintances’ – those who are contributors who have taken part once and then agree to come back for a return visit like old friends dropping in for a cuppa and a biscuit.

I cannot tell you how honoured I felt this year when I realised the true extent of all the support I’ve received as I put the magazine together. I explained it to a friend that it was like I’d climbed a long way to stand and look out over a beautiful and expansive view. When I arrived there I was on my own, but all of a sudden I turned around and realised I had been joined by an army of amazing women (and men) who all believed the same thing as me – that things need to change and they can be made infinitely better for all us by looking at gender equality in a new way.

Creating a team of diversity superheroes: What’s your super power?

So in 2016 I’ve got an exciting new project that I’m working on. I’m looking at how to leverage the skillsets, knowledge and enthusiasm that exist amongst all the amazing contributors I’ve been blessed to be able to work with.

I’m working with teams of diversity superheroes, all of whom have their own unique combination of ‘super powers’. So they might be in STEM or in marketing and communications, or in entrepreneurship or in finance or in law. They might be in HR and development. They might be in social media. The list goes on and on.

The benefits of having incredible people writing about their own experiences of diversity and inclusion are that by definition I’ve ended up building a diverse set or core competences and skills amongst my contributor base, and what’s more, some of the most amazing people don’t even know how amazing they are or what the true extent of their super powers are. We want to change that.

Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right question

I’ve mentioned this work before and now that it’s starting to come together I’m excited for what 2016 has in store. Events and experiences in my life to date have made me realise that we’re all here for a fleeting amount of time and in order to make our mark on the world we have to learn how to work with others to challenge the status quo. (We’re back to Steve Jobs and his ‘crazy ones’ again here.)

I recently read a quote (I’m not sure who wrote it) that said: “Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is about asking the right question.” I absolutely agree. I also believe that it’s also about persistence in asking the ‘right’ questions over and over until you get the answers you need. So in 2016 will try our hardest to ask more of the ‘right’ questions from Womanthology in order to generate more of the ‘right’ answers.

Our readers are an important part of the solution too, so please stay on the journey with us. We’re stronger and better informed by working together. I truly believe that be taking a positive approach and bringing out our collective key strengths and core competencies and by harnessing these in bold new ways there is nothing we can’t achieve if we set our minds to it. Look out 2016 – we’re coming to get you!

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