Becoming a role model in today’s world means many different things. With the changing roles of women and the new gender perceptions, it is hard as a parent to know which example to set for your child. You may have dedicated your life to your family, but your offspring might want a career. Nowadays, all parents have the power to set an example. 21st century women aren’t expected to stay at home and the equality of opportunity is become more and more common. The younger generations are being taught from their earliest days that they can have anything they want. So how, as a parent, do you set the right example and become a role model for your children?

The simplest lesson you can teach is to set a goal and achieve it. In a traditional family set up, men worked and women stayed at home. Pregnancy meant the end of any semblance of a career and babies meant that any personal goals you may have had were put to one side. There was no balance -- boardrooms were all male and the homes were a female's domain. Nowadays, any parent should be able to balance a career with family commitments, so a good way to become a role model is to make clear your goal and stick with it. If you want to maintain your career, then do it. We learned unequal behaviour from our parents, so your children can learn about forging ahead for a goal from you.

One of our Partners, Sally, noted that “It is very hard as a working mum to find a role that is both flexible and fulfilling and becoming a SmartPA Partner has enabled me to achieve this.” As well as feeling fulfilled in yourself, it shows what is being demonstrated for the next generation. A parent who works flexibly and is happy. Setting the example that you can have what you choose and be happy while doing it is pretty impressive.

Now we’ve reached 2019, change is happening. Freedom of choice is a thing, so why not demonstrate that it’s never too late. A lot of our Partners come to us when their children are more grown up because they want to do something for themselves. Teach your young ones that it’s never too late to find your passion and that autonomy and pride are great feelings. What a role model you will become, having made the choice first to raise your family and then to own your own business. What an unstoppable force you must be.

Having forged the way, future generations will have real choice and real opportunity. The lessons will be learnt slowly that gender doesn’t dictate your path and children will purely be a blessing and not something to either be factored into a career strategy or chosen over your job. Being a role model is both a blessing and a huge responsibility, but change is happening now and the future is in the hands of those young people. The future is bright because of the example you set today.

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