Women (whether at home or in the workplace) who make it look easy are doing themselves no favours.
Have you ever noticed how little we ask the “strongest person” in our circle how we can help and truly act on it?
I can remember very early on realizing that my strength and resiliency was both a blessing and a curse.
To my brother and sisters, I made things look easy – easy grades, social relationships, and leadership potential. To this day, I’ll hear the phrase “I always knew you would…” followed by a comment about how I seemed to display the early signs of someone who was destined to make it.
And they were right – I did want to make it.
Make it out of the housing projects.
Out of the cycle of poverty.
Out of the dysfunction that I saw carried out from the lens of a young black girl.
That experience pushed me to reach for levels I didn’t even know existed!
I wanted to change the trajectory of my life and heal generational hurts that have plagued so many families living in disenfranchised communities.
It brought with it so much baggage and yet so much strength and courage required to make it out.
I definitely wanted to make it out!
So over the years, that strength has covered me like a coat of arms, as I walk through the challenges I’ve experienced since moving out the projects many years ago and entering my career in corporate.
I have faced the microaggressions, unconscious bias, discrimination and subtle digs and have remained professional, resilient and graceful in spite.
But as I sit here today on March 8th 2019 asking myself how did showing consistent strength and resiliency in the face of those challenges pan out for me in the workplace? I’ll have to question whether (at times) those displays of leadership have impacted who showed up for ME when I too needed help, support and recognition.
We all want to believe that those who demonstrate leadership and grace, do the work and deliver high performance will be fairly compensated for their contributions.
But are they??
Are those who do the most work in our society the ones being rewarded?
As a working mom, I pour into my family, my work, my business and self-care and often times make it seem easy to the people around me (spouse included) as I try to figure out how to be so many things to so many people and yet find time to do housework, plan and attend activities with my daughter and exercise?
We are badass women.
Leading teams, businesses and boardrooms while being the mother, wife and much needed friend to our ecosystem while giving back to our community.
But who pays when we make it look easy?
Who gets passed over for opportunities, recognition and fair financial compensation?
Who makes it look easy?
I know (raises hand) – The “I don’t really need help, got everything covered and always-professional” strong woman does.
But let’s be clear – I do not expect any favours and nor should you.
Life is about the many challenges we face and how we overcome them. Each experience we collect along the path tell a story, our story AND our actions – when consistent, strategic and steadfast – will eventually speak for itself when we show the courage to keep fighting for a fair shot and bringing value to the communities we serve.
I make no apologies for being a strong woman – I AM (period).
As we celebrate the many amazing trailblazing fierce women who have come before us and created the path for us to move forward, let’s not forget to celebrate the bold, strong women in our circles.
Let them know that “you see them”;
And recognize women in more meaningful and strategic ways to help not only show support but also that much needed sponsorship to help advance their career.
To all the graceful, resilient and strong women who make it look easy when we all know it isn’t: I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU. YOU.ARE.KILLING.IT!
Your value does not diminish based on someone’s inability to see your worth;
I also know that love doesn’t pay the bills but higher wages for a woman and equal pay for equal work does!
Let’s remember why this day is important and keep the necessary conversations going in our community.
I want to hear from you!
How are you celebrating this #IWD2019 and what changes would you like to see to help advance women in the workplace?
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#BalanceforBetter #IWD2019 #InternationalWomensDay