Are You A Superwoman? (and did you want to be?)

The image of superwoman has changed over the ages.  In the 80’s era of emerging female power, the model was created in our minds of the first “Supergirl” from the movie of the same.  She has appeared as early as the 1950’s in the comic version.  Since then, we have used that trademark in various iteration to describe women.

We have the character Supergirl™ in the red and blue with that cute little flip skirt and boots.

We have supermum – the ultimate baker, maker, creator, cleaner, teacher, “well kept” housewife image that greets a new vacuum cleaner at Christmastime with joy.  Also a product of 1950’s advertising and sadly still used today as the picture of the “perfect mum”.

We have the business power superwoman – she of the killer suit and heels, lipstick and stockings, career and family perfectly balanced to create a happy and fulfilling life.  Her rise started fully in movies from around the 1980’s where women joined the boardroom in deadly but stylish shoulder-pads.

These are all fantasies created for us by advertisers, of both personnel and professional “beauty standards”, or standards of perfection that are not able to be achieved by anyone, least of all the man that dreamt up the images.  If you are a mom, you use the best of baking equipment to whip up cupcakes any old time for your children and their friends because you always have time to do that, don’t you?

If you are a business women, you house is immaculate and clean, just waiting for that evening soiree that you cater for by cooking everything yourself in all your free time. Because you have so much of it of course.

Who here knows the real truth? 

The one where the career woman has business paperwork, and maybe clothes scattered all over the place because she is always working and never has the time to get truly organized at home.

The mum that doesn’t bake because she can’t find the time between grocery shopping, cleaning, mending, ironing, schooling, delivery to numerous after school clubs, washing the dog; and is lucky to find anything other than a butter knife to ice those cupcakes because she is doing three other things at the same time.

These “failures” to live up to the dream, such as they are, consist of often small things that build until you want to scream… or cry…..  or both……  We have this mental image that comes from asking “can we have it all?”, and knowing the answer is yes, but the solution isn’t anywhere as simple.

These pictures are carefully and artfully created and controlled to elicit these specific types of responses from us, but what if we stopped listening?   What if we just stopped buying into the story that we are told, day in and day out, that we must have these “things”, achieve these “measures”, meet these standards, that provide our worth to society and we decided to create our own standards of measurement.

What if our image of the superwoman was taken back from the marketers and put in the hands of real women?  If we nominated a figure of superwoman today, how would she appear to us? 

What then would a superwoman look like?  Act like?  What would today’s superwomen truly be like – if real women created her?

Some of you might already have some samples of who you would nominate as a superwoman.

Over the next few weeks I am gong to discuss the different categories that might make you a contender for the title of superwomen (or superdad for those dads out there making it happen for their families).

BIO: This extract is from Becky’ published book, The Words of Bek , and was also the subject of her presentation on Louisville Kentucky USA in 2014. 

Becky Paroz doesn’t fit in.  She has worked for nearly 30 years in the construction industry, taking names and making one for herself.  She loves her workboots, colours her hair purple and speaks loudly with a strong and confident voice.  Bek makes her place in the world, she has never waited for a space to open for her. Moving beyond mentoring within industry for the last 10 years, Becky is now seeking her tribe to connect within and would love to hear from any fellow mavericks and nonconformists out there at any of her social media spots which you can find here.

Empowering New Year

Training VS Learning

Where is the incentive to Learn?

Most training centers are just that.  They offer training, certification to a certain level, with a certificate or some sort of acknowledgement of completion at the end of the course.  The course is structured with listed, usually measurable, learning outcomes and as you progress through the course, you receive a level of competency from a trainer overseeing your progress.

This is how it is normally done and has been for some time in our modern world.  Previously in history, before the advent of the training organization, there were things like “learn-on-the-job” and apprenticeships, where you were mentored and taught by someone with years of experience in conducting the actual tasks you were to learn.

This art has died out in recent years, to the point where, certainly in Australia, it is becoming a crisis in some industries as the older generations move into retirement…. But there are no replacements in their field.

Apprenticeships are no longer what the next generation aims for in a large part due to the allure of a “degree”.  Whether it is via an education facility such as a University, or more flexible arrangements from a private college, the “degree” has become the latest fashion trend to supplement your career skills.  There is merit in that as education and knowledge become intertwined in our digital age.

And now universities and other training organizations are starting to look at “on-the-job” experience as a part of those who would graduate with degrees.

We seem to have come full circle and still don’t seem have the results we need to further the next generations of skills and experience.  What is missing? Learning.

The training is delivered according to the guidelines set down by the trainer, the organization, the regulations of the country.  All good so far.  But how does that translate into real learning for the student?

This is the key missing element of the training organization.  Along the way, tutors, trainers and teachers seem to have disengaged from the process of learning, and the next generations, without being shown what learning is, suffer from the lack.  It may be in part due to motivation, in may be in part to the vast array of knowledge that we can access in an instant instead of the “old days” where a library required your to attend and reading was needed for research.  It took time back in the “old days” to find something out for yourself, to build a body of knowledge.  Now “google” is the new library.  And why learn when you can “ask Siri” and have an answer immediately? 


The incentive needs to be given to the student, along with the material to learn these days.  Some places are trying “gamification” concepts to engage with a new generation.  Some offer “experiential” learning – a combination of knowledge and activities designed to use that knowledge and allow it to embed in the conscious while the training takes place.  These are less traditional ways of training, but are they less effective as a result of being new?

There are some studies that prove this to be an effective channel to take.  Perhaps there needs to be more.  Perhaps there needs to be better explanations of what those studies really prove and how to embrace these new concepts for training.  Where are the champions of this?  The older generation did not learn that way, so it may be hard for them to teach that way.  It may be seen as “silly” or a waste of time, when they “should just learn it”.  It may just be “new” and therefore a threat to those who have held their positions for some time and are resistant to change their ways.  It may be the old “us versus them” as the generations change from subordinate to senior.

Engagement is the key.  However it occurs, the student, no matter the age, wants to know why this piece of information is important to truly know, to have learnt it, not just to be able to “google it” whenever the question comes up.  How will it assist in performing the role better?  How will it help the student?  How will it contribute to their work and progression through a career?  Just about anyone can learn like a parrot, by rote, and by having the knowledge drilled into them, rather like we used to with our times tables.  But to truly know something, to have learned, is entirely different to being able to recite facts.

It is up to the trainers, the training organizations themselves, to encourage learning through new and innovative methods if there is ever going to be the knowledge transfer that companies desire for their futures to be secure.

Becky Paroz is a mentor, women’s empowerment specialist, AND one of the TOP 10 Women to Watch – Ymag 2019! who is here to teach and engage with you in a down to earth and approachable way. You can find more about her mentoring packages here.


Top 10 Women to Watch 2019

Being given the title of “Woman to Watch” is kind of daunting. I have had some time to get used to the idea, and I have seen the amazing women be really proud of the achievement they have made, an I wonder why I haven’t really made much of a fuss in mentioning it. Some of it has been the wonderful and self-inflicted joy of my new furkids – Freya and Rigga, our 2 new ridgeback puppies – some of it has been a reluctance to “talk myself up”. While I am not lacking in confidence (those who know me would agree) it is a bit different when talking about an award that kind of says you might be a big deal. 😊 
I am not used to thinking that way about myself until I stop and realise what I have been through in my life.

I am a terrible sleeper at the best of times. I was never safe in my home as a child and then I was diagnosed with a chronic, incurable disease when a teenager. You’d think I’d give up, right? I was told to by the “experts”. I wish I had someone I could relate to at the time, who could tell me that, in fact, my life was not over.
Give up, change your plans, you won’t make it. These were the messages I received. Do these all sound familiar? You don’t have to experience what I had in my life back then for you to be tortured by the thoughts of “not good enough”, the idea that you are a failure, that you will never amount to anything. If you could stop that 2am litany (and all the other times you tell yourself how bad you are as a person) would you take it? I would have if I had found it.

If you could stop beating yourself up, worrying over things out of your control and experience abundance in your life, to know that you are good enough, what action would you take?

I was that person. For so many years, troubled by the never-good-enough-and-never-going-to-amount-to-anything thoughts. Not really believing it was true, but having no one to tell me that I could be good enough, in fact, I could be amazing! And here I am, being a little bit excited by the thought that I might be, in fact, a woman to watch!
You can have this too. It took me years of searching to find myself, my purpose, my happiness. I tried everything and looked to everyone for answers. I eventually found them. Some of those lessons have made there way into my book, there is so much more! I want you to have that. To discover confidence, resilience, to become a leader in your own life, to be the star of your story. One that you can start to re-write today.

If this sounds like you, I’ve been there. If you have looked for someone who gets you, perhaps this story has echoes of you. Perhaps it is you! 
If you have a similar story to share, then please drop me a message, either here or privately, and lets get your boots on to a new way of being you.

For women who know there is more to life than the 2am litany of failures than come with that Imposter Syndrome. Join in and be the star of your own story on GET YOUR BOOTS ON the Facebook Page.


The Importance of a Mentor 2.0

The importance of a Mentor – Part Two

The importance of the Mentor – Part Two.Skills that make for a good mentor, what to look for and just who should be your guide – Continuing from pervious blog posting 6th January

Efficient – you know how to get your message across, you know how to say it a few different ways to ensure it is received and you know when to end a conversation after the information has been exchanged.  You are good at what you do because you always manage your time well and you can do that with appropriate communication to the situation.  You don’t waste your own time, so you certainly don’t waste anyone else’s.  You also know when someone is wasting your time and you will manage that too.

Honesty – it’s not a trait that will necessarily win you friends, but you know it is a necessary one for assisting others.  You know when to offer a feedback whether it is positive or negative.  You know when to challenge the thinking of the other party and when to let them work their own way to a solution.  You know when to call them out and when to call them on the phone to remind them how awesome they are.  And you are also good enough to do this more than once if needed.  This skill is no good without a sense of giving, otherwise you are just as blunt as Thor’s hammer in your delivery.

Failure – no fear.  You don’t pretend that you haven’t failed, because we all have in one way or another.  It’s called the human condition.  However, you don’t fear it.  Out of every failure comes a learning experience, a new way of approaching a problem.  Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.  You encourage others to learn from old mistakes so that they can make new mistakes, instead of repeating history.

I hope this has helped you in finding what kind of mentor you need, understanding what it means to be a mentor and inspires you to be challanged by your own personal mentoring program and in the future be a strong mentor to those surrounding you in your professional and personal life.

Being a mentor offers new insights through seeing problems from another perspective you may not have had yourself.  It gives a sense of purpose to the learning that you have had over the years. 

You will never know the pleasure of seeing someone else take your knowledge, apply it and enjoy their own success as a result.  You may not ever get credit for the changes you have assisted in others.  What matters that it feels right for you to be a mentor.


YMAG – Top 10 Women to Watch 2019!

YMag® a leading personal development magazine for professionals in Australia

YMag® is fastly becoming Australia’s leading personal development magazine, on newsstands today. It’s luxe feel, transports our readers to their happy place and allows them to sink into their favourite reading spot and start devouring the incredible, real-life stories of people from all over the world and Y they do what they do. YMag® is your ‘must have’ quarterly magazine available at leading newsagents and Newslink Agencies in outbound Airports.


The Importance of a Mentor

Becky has 20 years’ experience in engineering and construction and has been a qualified Project Manager for over five years and a qualified performance coach for over 10 years. She has been involved in public speaking since one of her managers put her in front of 600 men and told her she had 20 minutes to teach them how to do their job properly. Becky is known for her use of humor to challenge status quo thinking and offering alternative views for consideration. She is motivated to pass on her lessons learned to assist and educate the next generation of leaders to become high achievers like herself.

Mentoring is about other people.  Genuinely, honestly, and completely.  There should be no self interest in a true mentor. 

There is always secondary gain to being of service to people, but it should be exactly that – secondary to the people you work with, otherwise you are a manager, or a dictator, not a mentor.  And dictators need not apply.

Mentoring takes a special set of skills that can’t be taught in a classroom, although I am sure that a degree in Mentoring is not far away, if not already in place somewhere. 

The skills that make for a good mentor are included in the following list.  Perhaps not all, but certainly more than one of these skills apply if you want to be a good, or even great, mentor. 

The skills that make for a good mentor are included in the following list.  Perhaps not all, but certainly more than one of these skills apply if you want to be a good, or even great, mentor. 

Experience – a broad range of skills and abilities in many areas that you can vary and apply to each set of circumstances.  You don’t use the same process every time you are faced with a challenge.  You have tried and tested many ways of solving problems during the course of your own career.

Problem solver – see above.  You enjoy a challenge and see it as a goal to overcome the problem, in fact see it as an opportunity.  You don’t complain about how hard it is, you just get to it and get it sorted.

Giving – you enjoy offering your skills and services to others and don’t seek reward.  You like reward, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the first thing you think of when you observe a situation that you can assist with, improve, solve or add value to.

Communication – a very tricky one.  The biggest downfall of most peoples’ communication is talking to others in the language they use, not the language the other party uses.  This causes failure, confusion, and misinterpretation which can sometimes lead to disastrous results.  An example might assist.  If you are building a high tech facility, do you use emoticons to demonstrate the outcomes you want or do you use technical language?  This might be a slightly exaggerated example, but it offers the point that the delivery must be understood by the person receiving the information, not simply to show how many big words (or emoticons) the person making the delivery has access to

I can offer you a blue sky concept that encapsulates a paradigm shift via a panel based approach 


I can offer you an alternative solution that will engage all your team members and encourage maximum participation and uptake of the concept.

Who would you choose from those two statements?  And yet they offer a similar meaning.

To be Continued in the next blog on 10 Jan 2019 …


Everyday Passion

A New Year Story

I am passionate about writing.  I have passion for what I write.  I am passionate about the messages that are exchanged when communication occurs e.g. I write, you read!  I am passionate about assisting people with improving their lives; their outlooks; their mindset.  As a coach, I am passionate about people. 

So why is this article so hard to write?  Because I am also passionate about many other things.  Sometimes I just get really passionate about sleep.  Mainly because as an insomniac, I don’t get much! 

If you haven’t been under a rock lately, you will no doubt have heard, read and seen all the various ways in which you can be passionate, have passion, get more passion, find a new passion, on so on! 

Do we really need to be passionate ALL the time?  Do we need to live every second as passionately as we can?  As a young women, my answer was absolutely yes!  I had been diagnosed with a chronic illness that saw me not likely to make it to old age.  I dived into life, I got hobbies, I went travelling, threw myself out of planes, flew helicopters and did everything I could with passion and zeal, enthusiasm and vigour.  Now I have reached the age I was told I’d never make (40 for anyone who is curious) I am a bit tired! 

I still have passion; after all I am writing this article during the Christmas holiday period which is generally when we all get full of the spirit(s) of the festive season, not so much passion.  You might be passionate about spending time with your family, but at this time of year, it is traditional that we all give passion a rest in exchange for parties! 

It takes passion to be motivated to do something we don’t really want to do.  Or we do want to do, but in our time, not to deadlines!  So, how have I found the passion to write this article?   

Now that I am a little older, I can see that passion is tiring.  It can be exhausting to try and feel passion for something, everything, all the time.  So I give myself a break from being passionate every now and then.  I distract myself with some cheesy movies, or a great fiction; something that takes me away from the life I live, and puts me into another pair of shoes for a short time.  Once I have had a vacation from myself in this way, I can take a deep breath and dive right back into that passion pool. 

Sometimes I check out altogether, turn of the social media, the computer, the phone and just sit still – you might call it meditation.  I just STOP.  It has taken me a long time to forgive my all too human body for letting me down and being tired or unable to perform.  It has taken a long time to convince myself, she who must squeeze all she can out of life before its too late; that it is okay to have a minute; an hour; a day; or even a week, where I do not achieve something, educate myself or be of service to the community in some way. 

It’s okay to take a break from passion and being passionate.  To sustain any kind of intense emotion takes energy.  In this busy world, with the expectation on women to “have it all”, we can all feel guilty for not being there yet.  We can be our own worst enemy for not achieving something according the goals, the rules, and the deadlines we set, or have set for us. 

But how about, as we start another new year, filled with opportunities, excitement, growth and passion, we take a moment to remind ourselves that we are not machines, we are not robots; we are in fact simply human.  We need our downtime.  We need to have some silence or solace in order to gather our thoughts, file our facts and figures, to re-assess and regroup before the next round of passionate achievements. 

And that is how I have written this article.  By taking a break.  By not worrying too much about the deadline.  By taking a deep breath and realizing what I want to achieve this year.  When I did that, I realized that I want to reach more women, I want to assist all of us to be easier on ourselves and manage our expectations for success along with our health – mental and physical. 

And writing this article is a part of that passion that I have to ensure that every woman, no matter what they are going through; no matter what they wish to achieve this year and for their future; has an ally, a good friend, that says – it’s okay to just breathe.  You are still a passionate creature. You have the ability to tap into that source of passion at any time you want.  Just reconnect with why it is you want what you want; and remember why it is you do what you do. 

And if in realizing that you are not passionate about something, make it okay to change your mind and be passionate about something else. 

Passion is flexible and changeable.  It is not fixed.  It is movable.  It is the creative flow that assists, along with some motivation, to move you towards your destiny, your goals, your desires.  So I hope you all enjoyed your festive season as much as possible.  I also hope that you have something that you can reconnect with and be passionate about this year.  I know I do and I am excited and passionate about what 2019 has for all of us. 

Passionate New Year to you all.