Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sitting at the Table with Women

Everyday I come across dozens of advertisements, posts, articles and discussions that involve the issue of women in the workforce.

Statistics still indicate that despite the progress we've made in the past 40 years, there are still far fewer women in upper-level management positions. Sadly, many of these women are still considered to be unfeminine and anti-family: a fact that I find to be a gross mis-assumption. Beyond that, it really irritates me that so many people feel it is fine to judge and treat a woman's aspirations as somehow going against the forces of nature.

Naturally this topic is sensitive and usually very personal, however, I seem to rarely encounter a good and helpful consideration of the issue. I recently ran across a lecture given by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of facebook, where she discusses some of the problems she's encountered by being a powerful woman in the workforce. I'd like to thank my friend Peter for finding and showing this excellent lecture to me; I think it deals with a lot of the current issues surrounding career women with grace and sensitivity.

The below video is one that I think is WELL worth everyone's time, she gives a lot of good suggestions for helping women attain their goals. Hopefully, you find it as enjoyable as I did.

I love the advice she gives about sitting at the table, about not selling ourselves short. So often we as women push our successes unto others, or don't see how talented and able we are. After listening to this lecture it's now my goal to both foster my own self-confidence and boost the self-confidence of the women around me. We need to see ourselves as we truly are, and stop undervaluing our abilities.

I also think it's especially interesting when she mentions how successful women are usually seen as "unlikeable," an unfortunate societal projection. Quite often these women are seen as "over-compensating" when they are probably just trying to do what we all are, be the best that we can be at the things we've chosen to do.

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