Introduction

A few years ago I was playing cards with my gran, who at the time was 93. She was telling me what it was like to be a woman of the 1940s. She told me when World War II started most of the men left to fight, and she and her friends started working in an ammunition factory. It made me think about what an unusual time it must have been — when life as you know it suddenly turns upside down, your husband leaves you for five years and you have to survive by working in a factory. She started to make her own money and felt the freedom that this brings, only to be told to get ‘back in her box’ when the men came home. To think at that time she was not allowed to work or have a loan in her name seems unbelievable today.

In her time, women were not the bosses and certainly did not run businesses. In her mind, what man would even listen to a woman in the workforce? She constantly told my mother not to ‘get above herself’. For her, a woman had very little to no real power, even in her own home. It took my gran years to understand that at Boost, I (her granddaughter, not her grandson-in-law) was running the business. She couldn’t get her head around a woman boss — that was not what girls did in her day. ‘Why would they even listen to Janine?’ she would ask. Funny enough, it took a Herald Sun article for her to believe that I had actually started Boost (clearly only what you read in the paper is true). This wasn’t popular belief from 100 years ago; this was my gran, only two ...

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