YOU’RE The Voice. Margot Andersen As we celebrated International Women’s Day last month, there were so many incredible women who personified the ability to ‘find one’s voice’. Embracing the challenge to do so has seen them break new ground, blaze trails, suffer trials, shatter glass ceilings and many other tougher things along the way. Their journeys are rich in learning for those of us who are creating our own voice and determining how best to use them. So let’s take a moment to acknowledge just five women who have each made their mark, made some noise in the process, and certainly made a difference. J K Rowling: ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.’ Playing it safe is more dangerous than we think. Yet we so rarely hear about the enormous cost of playing it safe. We risk the opportunities to win and or engage in meaningful work; we risk the opportunity to create those memorable moments; and we risk the opportunities to be noticed and be remembered. If ever you needed proof that you should step out of your comfort zone and take a risk J K Rowling is it. Breaking through the poverty trap and the cycle of rejection after rejection she remained committed to pursuing her writing ambitions and in doing so not only transformed her own life but that of millions of children (and adults alike) with her writings and the Harry Potter series. In five years, she has sold over 400 million copies with the series and seen it come to life through not only print but also film and toys. She has also inspired so many children to pick up a book and actively engage in the simple past time of reading. Katherine Hepburn: ‘As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move’. The ability to own what it is that we do, what we want to do and where we are is key to our success in both our professional and personal lives. Through ownership, we grow in confidence and purpose and ultimately create a range of choices for ourselves.