Architect Zaha Hadid was one of a number of influential women featured by the BBC to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, which is today (March 8).
BBC Arts asked women from the fields of arts, culture and politics to send a postcard to their younger selves, offering a piece of wisdom, advice or simply reflection.
Hadid replied: “Retain the great sense of optimism, spirit of adventure and belief in progress that you learned from your parents. Believe in the fantastic. And never neglect your friends and family, they will always be your greatest support. You will need the confidence to take new steps every time; hard work will give you that layer of confidence.”
Co-operation was a key part of Hadid’s reply.
She said: “Understand the importance of trusting others. Learn from the skills and experience of other people.
“Always believe in your work – it will carry you through any difficult situation, but learn to adjust your thinking every once in a while to fit the moment. Never give up. You won’t always get everything right every time – but you have to keep trying. Have the commitment to persevere.
“Your success will not be determined by your gender or your ethnicity, but only on the scope of your dreams and your hard work to achieve them. Understand the importance of trusting others. Learn from the skills and experience of other people. Teamwork is very important.
“In 50 years you will return to Rome to build the MAXXI, the Italian national museum of 21st century arts; a place that will attract artists and visitors from around the world, with the local community using its galleries like a Roman piazza each morning, afternoon and evening. It won’t just be a museum; it will be an integral part of Rome itself.”