What are we doing to one another?! I have been thinking a lot about the direction of women in leadership, and I have come to a sobering and somewhat hurtful conclusion. Much of what we deal with is our own obstacles. Let me clarify, I say our own, meaning women, us, this group female population we belong to. Now by our own obstacles I mean, and I hate to say it, we are sometimes our own worst enemy. I blogged about this years ago, mainly out of frustration. But, whoever came up with the idea that there can only be 1 of us at the proverbial table, was wrong.
"The myth that if I succeed, as a woman, means another woman cannot is simple just a myth. The idea that as women only one of us can have a seat at the table is not ideal. The notion that we must compete against one another is unrealistic. But what is true is if I succeed I create the opportunity for someone else to succeed, if I get a seat at the table I create another seat at the table for someone else; there is no need for the competition."
The idea that there can only be one smart woman, one woman that gets the invite to the hard to get into meeting, one woman who can present on a topic, one woman who is in leadership, the one pretty woman, the one witty woman. This whole idea the as a woman, I should be relieved that someone sees me as better than, more special than, or greater than another woman.
“All of our backs tell stories that no books have the spine to carry”
Now this type of behavior is very unconscious, I promise I have even fallen victim to it too. It was not until after the fact, in reflection, in silence, in thought; did I realize what I had done. I was and I am "that woman." That woman that at some point has hurt another woman, another sister, and tribe member. This judgment is ugly, disappointing, and keeps me from truly connectingwith people (this sucks to have to admit, but I am honest).
On the other hand I have been the woman who was torn down by another woman, another sister, another tribe member. What happens is that we start to view each other as competition, then no progress is made; because while we are competing, we are not using each other to increase our performance and our presences.
Why is my tribe so important? Because to some people, I will always be just a girl.