The Power Minute: 3 Women Let Us Into Their World

What does it mean to be a woman in 2020? Whatever you want it to mean. That’s what Keds’ new platform, The Hand-Book for Women, is all about. And, the reason why we have partnered with Keds to celebrate and champion the modern woman over the coming months.

The new Hand-book, a reinterpretation if their original The Keds Hand-book for Girls series that was published in the early 1920s, gives women the chance to tell their own stories in their own words. The first issue is around power, whatever that means.

In 2020 we’re all busy and we only have so much time in a day to work towards empowering ourselves and others but, we can actually achieve a lot in a single minute. With this in mind and to mark International Women’s Day, we asked three inspirational women, two of whom are in the Hand-book itself, as many questions about power as we could in 60 seconds. We gained so much insight and there are 1,440 power minutes in a day! Think of everything we could achieve if we simply banned the phrase “I don’t have time”.

From learning to own and share your personal narrative, to embracing whatever it takes to be the best you, the wise words of Tijana Tamburic, Katie Kelleher and Alya Mooro, and their power stories, will galvanise and embolden you.

Photo: Stephanie Sian Smith

Tijana Tamburic is the co-founder of Female Narratives, a London-based creative agency that connects brands with real women to amplify real female narratives. She was nominated in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Media and Marketing last year, and has spoken about the power of femininity on stages such as TEDx. Follow Tijana and her work on @femalenarratives and @tamburic.

What does power mean to you? 

Owning and sharing your story – I think of the Ursula K Le Guin quote: ‘We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experiences as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.’

When do you feel most powerful?

When I’m collaborating with a team of women and it’s all coming together better than I planned. 

Do you have any rituals or routines to boost your power?

Yoga, rock climbing, dancing; any kind of full-body movement. Anything I find hard or technical where I can feel a sense of achievement, freedom and total focus. I find it makes me forget about everything else for at least a split second so that I can return re-focused and re-energised. 

Do you have a mantra or a saying that picks you up and gives you the power you need? 

‘This too shall pass.’

Who personifies power to you?

My mother. From handing in her PhD while nine-months pregnant with me, to leaving her war-torn country to start from scratch in a new one with a young family, to becoming a respected science professor as a foreign woman in the UK. She never let her background stack against her and she never took no for an answer.  

Who do you call when you need a power boost?

Jada Sezer and Lauren Taus – two of the most powerful women I know.

What is kryptonite to your power? 

Negative thought patterns, self-worth depletion, comparison and limiting beliefs, which can get the better of me sometimes, but I feel we all go through cycles of this. It’s about catching yourself, being aware of it and proactively working to do the opposite by reminding yourself of your power. 

You have one hour to recharge, what do you do?

Yoga!   

You have a whole day to recharge, what do you do?

I find it so hard to switch off because I’m always thinking about creating. My best friend has a cottage in the Cotswolds with no internet and limited service. I can spend all weekend there and not look at my phone once and feel amazing. Having a great book to read helps too. 

Katie Kelleher is a qualified crane operator and currently a deputy appointed person working in construction. She is a passionate advocate for women in construction and apprenticeships, and she often speaks about the difficulties of being a woman in the industry. As a STEM Ambassador, she speaks at schools and colleges, and has appeared on London Live, BBC Breakfast, the BBC’s 100 Women season, and been featured in the Metro and Stylist magazine.

What does power mean to you? 

To me, power means embracing whatever it takes to be the best you. That could be a stance, an item, a tune – anything.

When do you feel most powerful?

I feel my most powerful in a crane or when I know I’m looking my best. 

Do you have any rituals or routines to boost your power? 

I use music a lot to give me a boost – a good tune can boost your mood instantly. I’ve noticed that certain music can affect the way I hold myself or even change the way I walk. I use pep talks to boost myself up and breathing techniques when I’m having a nervous moment.

What’s your go-to power-boosting song? 

I have different songs for different power moods. Anything by DMX, Skepta, Stormzy or Kano gives me a badass kind of power. When I want to be a powerful queen, though, I switch to Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, Neneh Cherry and Salt-N-Pepa.

Do you have a mantra or a saying that picks you up and gives you the power you need?

‘Girls can’t what?’ I’ve even put it on stickers. It reminds me I can do anything I put my mind to. I never thought I could operate a crane but I did it and I bossed it. I can do anything. The number of women working in a plant and in construction is minimal, so I take the stickers to schools and elsewhere when I do talks.

Who personifies power to you?

My mum – she was one of 12 children and was sent away to work at age 14. I also turn to women in comic books. Comics do heroines really well. 

What image do you think of when you think power?

I think of the iconic ‘We Can Do It!’ World War II poster. I’ve even based more of my own stickers around it. It’s such a strong, great image.

Who do you call when you need a power boost?

My fiancé is my biggest supporter. He picks me up when I’m low, feeds my confidence and sends me back out into the world. He’s brilliant.  

What is kryptonite to your power?

My inner voice. I’m hardest on myself and my confidence can be low at times.

You have a whole day to recharge, what do you do?

Oh, what a treat! I’d play a longer game on my video game console; put on a TV series; have a bath and treat my body and hair.

Alya Mooro is an Egyptian born, London raised freelance journalist. Her bestselling first book The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes, is out worldwide now. Alya has been published in The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery29, The Washington Post and more, providing unique takes on identity, culture and beyond. 

What does power mean to you?

Vulnerability and honesty. And choice. 

When do you feel most powerful?

When I’m dancing to my fave hip hop tunes.

Do you have any rituals or routines to boost your power?

Many! I write in a gratitude diary and set affirmations first thing every morning. 

Do you have a mantra or a saying that picks you up and gives you the power you need?

“I am in an abundant universe. Everything works out for me for the best.” 

What image do you think of when you think power?

A woman in a kick-ass outfit power posing, with her feet apart and hands on her hips. 

Who do you call when you need a power boost? 

My dad. 

Which book or writer do you turn to when you need a confidence boost?

I love Jen Sincero’s ‘You are a Badass’. 

What is kryptonite to your power?

Self doubt. 

You have one hour to recharge, what do you do? 

Turn my phone off and read. 

 

To read more of the inspirational stories from the Power Issue of the Keds Hand-book for Women, click here.

 

Credits

Written by: Natalie Gil

Designed by: Montse Tanús