Why women need to make hard choices to get ahead – and how to do it.

Mel Greig radio

Former 2Day FM radio host Mel Greig talks about the hard choices modern women face.

On Wednesday I was involved in the Australian Institute of Management’s International Women’s Day debate team. I was a part of the affirmative team alongside two incredible women, Wendy Tuohy and Sara James. We debated over whether or not “Women needed to make hard choices to get ahead”.


Mel Greig radio
Do women need to make hard choices to get ahead? “ABSO-FRIGGEN-LUTLEY,” says Mel Greig. (Image: Supplied).

When I first read that headline I hated the words “Get ahead”… To me it felt as though women are one step behind the pack. The title made me feel that we needed to be ruthless to get ahead – like backstabbing other women to get to a higher position or giving up our family life to secure a promotion.

But after rereading that sentence my attention shifted. In order to get ahead, I realised, we need to make HARD CHOICES.

So let’s talk about the hard choices that we women face – perhaps like the ones I have faced.

Let’s start with imagining your job was ripped out from under you… your life in tatters… everything you’ve ever known is gone. You spiral into a deep depression and the first choice you need to make is “Do I want to live? Am I a fighter? Am I strong enough to get through this?”.


Related: Why did Mel Greig go to the royal prank inquest in London?

For the next 12 months I was faced with unthinkable choices, choices that I never should have had to make. But I had to.

The situations varied – but my process on how to make those choices never changed.

I realised that if you stay true to yourself, if you maintain your integrity, then you don’t lose who you are when you have to make hard choices. I am strong, fearless, passionate, fun and honest. Staying true to yourself allows you to have inner peace, it allows you to move forward and, to me, that means getting ahead.

woman lifting arms up edit
“Staying true to yourself allows you to have inner peace, it allows you to move forward and to me that means getting ahead.”

And the hard choices, they’ll always be there – but it’s how we handle them that matters.

I am now facing the next biggest challenge of my life, and that’s becoming a mother. For years I chased my media dream and brushed aside my endometriosis, the disease that was slowly but surely taking away my chance to be a mother.

I started this year continuing to pursue my career, knowing that being pregnant could lessen my chances of being employed, so I once again held off.

And then one day recently that bloody dancing baby from Ally McBeal popped up, “ooonga chucka ooonga chucka”, reminding me that my biological clock was ticking.

Related: A letter to my daughter on International Women’s Day

It angers me that women need to think about their careers before deciding to be a mother. Reporter Leslie Bennett has written that when we decide to put our careers on hold to have a baby, we are basically giving up our careers.

Who has left their job to have a baby or two and tried to re-enter the workforce two years later? Or, to even become pregnant in a fast-paced job? Becoming pregnant can be a challenge in itself – for me I will need IVF (and a miracle). But I shouldn’t have to make the hard choice of giving up on my dreams in order to do that.

I made hard choices to get ahead. I don’t have my full-time media career any more and I might not get it back. And I will now struggle to become a mother.

But there is one thing all women have deep inside us that no one can ever take away from us: WE ARE FIGHTERS.

“There is one thing all women have deep inside us that no one can ever take away from us: WE ARE FIGHTERS.” Image via Instagram

Do you want to be a follower? Or do you want to be a leader? Don’t stand still. Be true. Be authentic. Be genuine. Be strong. Don’t ever give up. Stay true to yourself when you make hard choices, and you WILL get ahead.

Today is International Women’s Day. This is a day to celebrate YOU no matter who you are, where you work or what you do… being a woman is a celebration in itself. Happy International We Are Awesome Day, ladies. Stay strong and stay positive.

This article originally appeared on Mel Greig’s blog and has been republished here with full permission.


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