My red lipstick is a very important part of my routine, it’s my way of expressing my personality and the final touch that makes me ready to face the day. In an industry where you can sometimes feel pressured to fit in rather than stand out, I may choose to wear a grey or black suit, or wear my safety footwear, high visibility jacket, hard hat and goggles when walking site, but my red lipstick is a nod to my femininity and a symbol of my confidence to be different.
As women in the surveying profession, we face invisible barriers everyday. Significant progress has been made into making PPE specifically for women, one size most certainly does not fit all; and providing unhindered access to facilities for women. I say unhindered, as for most of my career, the female site toilets were locked and I had to find the site manager to ask for the key. But despite progress, we can still go further.
By being a visible woman on site, I make myself available to help others. Whether a spare pair of thick socks for a female visitor not used to wearing site boots, or ensuring there is a supply of sanitary products on site that is labelled – ‘take what you need and leave what you can’.
Often our sites are remote and sanitary or specific female products are not items your average site manager would have in their desk draw. It can be embarrassing when you unexpectedly need protection or a change of clothes and are nowhere near home or a shop, and small acts can make a huge difference to other women visiting or working on site.
Our similarities are greater than our differences, but there are some things that women have a deeply personal understanding of. That is the powerful thing about being a woman on site, I have most likely had a similar experience during my career and come prepared for all eventualities.
What is National Lipstick Day? Days of the Year Blog has this to say:-
“Seldom has so much controversy surrounded such a small tube. If anything, Lipstick Day is intended to celebrate the prolific and gloriously glossy survival of that little stick of colour that has sometimes been equated to a lethal stick of dynamite. Whether it is seductively adding more pull to a pout, or scrawling a meaningful message on a mirror, lipstick has historically refused to be ignored.
Sarah Bernhardt created some epic scandal by applying lip rouge in public and Queen Victoria considered makeup hugely impolite and intended only to mark the most impolite of women. Yet, Winston Churchill found lipstick to be a wonderful morale booster and refused to limit its production during WWII. It seems he shared the secret women (and some men) have known for at least 5,000 years. Lipstick adds colour to character, so flaunt your brightest and make Lipstick Day a huge, marvelously colourful event.”
You can catch up with Joanna Farnsworth on her personal blog as well as her contributions to the Sisterhood blog.