The other day I asked a woman what it was like to be a female in her particular field. She answered me in a way I have yet to hear in my many interviews for this girl power blog. She found it easier and, by her perspective, more beneficial to not speak on the topic and approach her tasks without the slightest concern of what it means to be a woman in the workplace. I sat there stunned for a second.
What if she’s right?
I’m all for strong actions and well intended effort. In fact, that’s my typical response in career oriented conversations I have with myself— “Chug along, chug along. Hard work gets you places. Don’t waste your time looking at what others are up to. Find the path you want to be on and do whatever is in your means to make it happen.”
But if it’s really true that the great gender debate isn’t worth our time? What is the purpose of this blog then?
Surely these images, that most would consider to defy gender stereotypes, serve a greater, more empowering purpose. These stories of women who’ve paved a very unique trail in their fields of expertise must be inspiring more people than me alone.
I think as long as I still commonly hear that people are shocked by a woman’s presence when she’s on the job, a conversation remains to be had.
Let’s talk about it. It doesn’t have to be threatening or vicious. Keep an open mind and a good sense of humor in tow. Instead getting frustrated or offended, outsmart the people who seem stuck in the past. Come up with an even better joke or response and don’t hold onto the little stuff. Pettiness and nitpicking are for small minded folks.
The second you think something is beyond a joke or a chuckle, you’ve put it on a pedestal, cast in marble like some perfect masterpiece, when things still need to stay malleable and open to the currents of change and debate. Nobody’s right about everything all the time. Keep that in mind. Be open to conversation and still put your shoulder to the grindstone. That’s when change and improvement can flourish.