I’m a little pissed off.
But you see, I’m not an angry person – I’ve been called bitchy or bossy before (which I don’t mind), but not angry.
After raising my three girls in what I thought was a post-feminist era, having the good fortune to enter the tech field in the late nineties with a group of men and women who worked together without barriers, now – now in the 21st century, I’ve been awakened again to the ugly reality of sexism’s far reaching tentacles and finding out that we’re not where I thought we were.
Long before we started to see so many in prominent positions flaunt their sexist ideals, I became painfully aware that the struggle was real for women to simply do what men have been doing right here in America for two centuries – to have the opportunity to succeed and grow in our choice of work.
But here are some truths:
- We are graduating more college women than men.
- We are turning out more women doctors, lawyers, and scientists than ever before.
- We are graduating more MBA’s than men.
And we’re turning them lose in a climate that is all too often fraught with inequality in growth opportunity, where prejudice and sexism exclude many talented women, and where caring for family needs is still looked at as a weakness.
As a result, too many give up on their aspirations or simply accept their limitations. Others fight but often feel alone. Speaking up about unfair hiring or promotion practices or gender bias, risks firing, isolation, or misunderstanding. It’s so rare that national book deals follow, even when you lose the fight.
I’m lucky. I run my own company the way I want. I promote women equally. Speak out openly. Encourage everyone to be accepting and to stand up for our female team members when treated with little respect simply because of their gender (it still happens) by a client or constituent. I’m in control in my own world.
But many are not. And starting at just age six, 80% of little girls will tell you TODAY that they think boys are smarter than girls. This presumption is carried into adulthood with the recent ridiculous assortations by the Google employee that men have a higher genetic aptitude for science and math than women.
I love this country. And I believe in the opportunity we have here to learn, become educated, and create the life we choose. But we can do better. And we must. Because our economy and future depend on many who are now weakened and silenced to have the full, unfettered opportunity to grow and succeed without limitations. We simply must get out of our own way.
A few short weeks ago, Thrive Coworking for Women opened its doors with this purpose in mind. A joint venture with my daughter, Braelyn, Thrive aspires to be just a tiny part of the answer by inspiring professional women to be our best. Get out of our own way by breaking through limitations we place on ourselves – fear, intimidation, self-criticism, isolation – and be the best version of ourselves. And it’s already a breath of fresh air and inspiration for everyone who enters its doors.
No matter where you live, we can all either find or build a community of like-minded women who realize simply that we are better together. My daughter, Braelyn, put it this way: “Thrive represents the future, one in which women are treated equally and our daughters can grow up in a world where woman can be anything they want without judgment. It frustrates me greatly when I think about all the progress we still need to achieve as women, especially in the business world, and I think Thrive is an answer to that frustration. When we help each other succeed, as women, we all succeed in return.”
Want to be a part? I want to hear from you! This blog is built to be a place where we can share stories, inspiration and frustration – please, ladies, let’s bring it.