How much should an ambassador know about Louboutins?  My recent blog Ambassadors in high heels prompted some interesting comments (eg from one female British diplomat: "there is no doubt that when I joined up as a young woman in the 1970s the expectation was that I would marry and leave", but... "I have never not got a job because I was a woman").  The reprinting of the Ukrainian-language version on a reputable news site alongside a picture of some snazzy-looking shoes made me realise that some of my colleagues knew more about footwear than I did.

Meanwhile one Vogue-reader offered the following "personal thoughts about being a woman ambassador", which I reprint here with her permission.  

Personal thoughts about being a woman ambassador 

Good things: 

- You can sometimes say things which men can't get away with
- You stand out in the pack.  This can boost media coverage, sometimes to your advantage
- Unlike most men, you are not always obliged to drink to the bottom of the glass
- You can legitimately order running boards for your 4x4 so you can climb up 

Less good things:

- There is an enormous sense of responsibility.  If you get it wrong there is is the feeling that it will not be "Oh, dear, she messed that one up", but "That's what happens if you let a woman run an embassy"
- Being complimented on your beauty before getting down to business (I am not in bad nick for my age, but even so...)
- Being hit on by drunken Ministers.  Most male ambassadors do not risk a hand on their knee at the dinner table.


There are some serious points here, including about how people are judged and judge themselves.  Other thoughts (including from non-ambassadors) welcome. 

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting:


Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.