Every one of us can remember a time in our life when we have been inspired by the words or actions of another person – this moment may have provided us with the strength to believe in ourselves or the determination and motivation to achieve something we never thought possible. There are some incredibly strong male role models in my life but I have also been fortunate enough to know some exceptionally Inspiring Women who have shaped and driven my life too.
I have been fortunate enough to achieve my dream and captain my country at rugby; being an International captain is not easy and is a position that relies on having self-belief in order to grow into the role. Having started to believe in myself, I embraced the opportunity and relished the responsibility and pressure that came with the job of captaining my country.
On my journey as England captain, I got to meet some of the most determined women in England, both in my own sport and in other elite disciplines. As well as sharing stories of women that had inspired or mentored us, it was clear to me that we were also role models and an inspiration to others. I have since become determined to provide a platform for this Inspiration to be shared and transferred, for these stories from Inspiring Women, not necessarily famous names, to be used within organisations to Inspire, Believe and Achieve.
With this new goal in mind, I got on the Internet and on my phone one day and started to arrange meetings with the most Inspiring Women I could find. I asked them if they would be prepared to share their stories, along with the lessons they have all learnt, and they all said yes. All of them, every single one.
Spurred on by the enthusiasm of others and my own belief in the potential of Inspiring Women, I recently handed in my notice at the Rugby Football Union, where I have worked for many years developing rugby and, in particular, women’s rugby. Quitting my job and launching Inspiring Women is probably the most daunting thing I have done since being asked to captain my country, but I am going to embrace the challenge once more and pull together the most Inspiring Women I can find and help to connect them with companies and organisations.
If you are a leader in an organisation who believes that women can inspire your workforce to have faith in themselves and motivate them to achieve their goals, then I know a few women worth talking too. I very much look forward to experiencing what lies ahead in the next chapter of my life as well as inspiring others to make the most of their potential too.
Catherine Spencer, Founder of Inspiring Women.