114: Jane Egerton-Idehen – Be Fearless

Give Yourself Permission To Be You

Jane Egerton-Idehen is a telecommunications executive with over 17 years of experience in the Nigerian, Liberian, and Ghanaian telecommunications market. Her passion is seeing women fulfill their purpose and growing their careers. She is passionate about promoting girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 

Jane holds an engineering degree from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Warwick Business School in the UK. Jane has a set of education from Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management. 

Her book Be Fearless: Give Yourself Permission to Be You talks about how to walk through each crisis of career, especially in male-dominated fields without giving up. Learn how to dream without entertaining the limitations thrust upon you by society. Draw inspiration and encouragement from the true-life story of a telecommunications executive.

What We Discuss with Jane Egerton-Idehen:

  • The spark of resilience
  • Being caged like a bird
  • Finding your own tribe
  • Having a strong support network
  • Speaking to young women
  • Learning how to protect your dreams
  • Message to aspiring writers

[02:55] The Spark of Resilience

You gain confidence as you win little battles and then you become more confident to go for the bigger ones.

People have these perceived ideas just because of your gender.

One of her biggest milestones was just getting into high school and then into a British college university. She wanted to study engineering which people don’t see as something feminine. It’s almost like you’re seeking validation and permission from them to decide so she took a different turn.  She then realized she made a wrong turn and moved her course.

[05:49] Being Caged Like a Bird

When we give our power away, sometimes we are not aware or we are dependent on how we see ourselves. So we tend to give up our power to make decisions, to determine our lives, our goals, and dreams. 

Once we give that away, you almost seem like you’re caged by that fear of what it could cost you to give this up and to try something new to change that mindset. 

The door is open and you can walk away,. You’re no longer caged in by that mindset.

[07:41] Finding Your Own Tribe

Seeking support doesn’t necessarily have to be from people of your gender. Sometimes you have to look for your tribe and the key is don’t be blind to gender. 

Your tribe might not be tied to gender. It could just be people that are dreamers like you, people that believe, or share the same mindset as you, and that will be important for your journey.

You don’t necessarily have to get it from people you expect to get it from. And sometimes, you’re making a decision without knowing because there’s so much uncertainty. There are no guarantees. But you have to trust your instinct. 

[09:58] Having a Strong Support Network

People typically learn hard skills while we learn soft skills by absorbing what we see in the environment. But to be in the workforce, you need more than what you get from the streets or from your culture. 

With a support network, you get the information you don’t have access to. 

In many parts of the world, women always take the backseat. It’s always men who ask for a first date or ask your hand in marriage. Someone is always setting the tone and the pace. You’re always waiting for someone to make the decision on your behalf.

In the workforce, people expect you to ask. People don’t want you to shy away and hide away, waiting for somebody to act on your behalf. You can be in the driver’s seat of your life.

[13:18] There are No Enemies, Only Divergent Interests

People in the corporate world aren’t necessarily out to get you. They just have different perspectives.

Sometimes, we just have to change our perspective. 

If you change your perspective, it’s not you against them. It’s just about having mutual interests. Sometimes you can have enemies working together for a common goal because they share a mutual interest.

[16:32] Speaking to Young Women and Learning How to Protect Your Dreams

You can learn to speak by teaching. It’s got nothing to do with your physical attributes. Your mental power has to be aligned to that goal. Jane’s inspiration comes from seeing the fire in young girls lit up in their eyes knowing that she did it so can they do it too. 

Having limited role models, it’s so easy to give up because you don’t have anyone around you to look up to so you feel like it can’t be done.

Learn how to protect your dreams. Protect the people you associate with, the way you get your information, what you feed yourself, mentally, and the information you feed yourself. 

Then hang in there and wait for who is going to figure this out or who is going to point you in the right direction. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you tend to attract what you need in your life. It’s a universal principle.

[22:03] Message to Aspiring Writers

We all have a story inside us. Just find out your why. It’s not an easy process. It’s going to require a lot from you. But your why will give you clarity. It will help you when you need that resilience to go through it. 

Episode Resources:

Be Fearless: Give Yourself Permission to Be You

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