I’ve always thought the conversation around challenges women face was about finding your voice and speaking up; that strong, independent women needed to find the confidence to make their voices heard.

The older I get and the more the modern world allows us to see through the structures of society, economics and politics, I realise the conversation is really about finding the confidence to listen to those voices.

You see it every day in business, TV, music, media and social situations that when there is a woman who stands up and says how she feels, she is perceived as “too much”.

I am guilty at times of not hearing other female voices and, worse than anything, sometimes of not even hearing my own voice.

Despite thinking of myself as a very headstrong, intelligent and confident person, I tell myself to “tone it down” because I’m being “too much”.

I want to see people rising to the challenge of actively listening to those female voices and perspectives, not because they are female but because they are equal.

Every person should be offered the same platform, the same ears and the same opportunities—if we choose to take them.

By Kat Scott as part of International Women’s Day 2021