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I have grossly offended a group of people who are dear to me, which was completely unintentional.

I used the term ‘Stepford wives’  in my recent blog “Why women are paid less”– in my mind I saw this term as meaning ‘perfect woman’, think ‘Grace Kelly’ as in the movie. It was brought to my attention this morning that if you do a Google search on the term, that is not in fact the definition that comes up.

I had no intention of causing offence – as some said ‘self promoting at the expense of others’. I don’t know this group of women well at all – I had used dramatics to create contrast. An exaggeration of an idea to illustrate my point. It does not in anyway reflect on those individuals themselves. But I can see how the misunderstanding and offense has occurred and for that I take full responsibility and apologise.

The simple message of my blog was that I would like to live in a world where woman(and men) have the power of choice – and that each may choose their contribution and pursue it single mindedly. It is not for any person or organization to discriminate against them because of that choice.

I have re-edited the blog to leave my opinion because I think it is an interesting debate to have.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention – without it I would not know – what is the saying, I often “fire ready aim.” Forgive me. I have learned my lesson.

Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you very much Naomi for your honesty and insight. In a new business where I am still new at recruiting and managing staff, it is great to know that the same excitement and challenges are faced by organisations at many different levels. I appreciate reading about your ideas and experiences on how to manage growth in business, as well as maintaining a fun and entrepreneurial work environment.

  2. Hi, Naomi. I’ve been interviewed for one of your vacancies this week. I actually had a few questions I would like to ask you in person, I guess I may have to ask you here now (since I haven’t heard back from HR).

    Redballon days has been highly successful in the past, but to ensure your future, what strategy capability(something your competitors don’t have or very hard for them to catch up) you think you should have(or you already had).

    In manufacturing industry, product scale and range not only provide "cost benefit"(economy) but also stop new entrants coming into the market due to the large capital investment involved to catch up with the market leader. Do you think economy of scale and range exist in your industry? How would you compete with a "YellowBalloon Days" that wants what you’re having.

    Only for my curiosity.:P

    All the best

  3. I must say I find this very enlightening Naomi, and a refreshing attitude from a CEO. What strikes me the most is your open-ness, which I think is such a desirable quality. I have recently applied for a role at your company. Reading your blog has made me even more enthusiastic, and I hope I can one day call myself a ‘Redballooner’ and share your values and spirit..

  4. Competition is an interesting idea.

    Without competition one does not run his or her best race.

    The question that I would ask myself is if I was a competitor of RedBalloon what would I do to get an advantage … that is a good place to start a plan.

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