A Thought for International Women’s Day

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

A job is posted. A promotion become available. An opportunity opens up. Interested women might choose to wait instead of stepping forward. In contrast, men will apply to a job they aspire, no matter if they lack experience or have many other commitments on the go.

This is my lived experience. These are my observations. As people in my work and personal orbits have decided to move into leadership roles or apply for a promotion, I’ve seen the pattern I describe above time and again. While not every woman acts in the way I’ve described, it’s more common than many accept.

Women might think they need to get more experience, expertise or education. They may have the primary role in the home as a caregiver and feel they can’t find the time. Women may believe they’re not ready. And then women don’t apply. But good news! I’m beginning to see a change. More younger women seem to be ready to take the risk and put themselves forward.

Why might this be? Because of how women have been and are encouraged to see themselves by society and those in power. Gender roles are strongly engrained in our human communities. We are deeply socialized to believe, think and act in certain ways. The biases and assumptions I grew up with through the 60’s to 80’s don’t serve us. People everywhere want to freely express their identities, whether non-binary, woman, man, or LGBTQS2+.

All of us, and especially those who have power, can work to disrupt the pattern. I want women to value their worth and what they have to offer. I want every woman to know that she can put herself forward at any time and boldly state what she wants and aspires to. We need mentors and managers who clearly see the women in front of them and systematically help, encourage and support their professional growth and learning. Women, indicate your interest for the promotion, apply for the job, and say yes to the opportunity, even if you think you’re not ready. Most likely, you are ready and you have the skills and passion to learn the job.

Happy International Women’s Day!

My “20 for 2020” List

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and many other books, has initiated a fun way to think about things you might want to accomplish in a year. She and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, who co-hosts the Happier podcast with her, started back in 2018 with an annual list. Part to do list and part semi-resolutions, the 20 for 2020 list gathers some thinking about what the year might bring.

Image by Monfocus from Pixabay

I wrote my list in January and have been working on it. It’s enjoyable and not too stressful. These are things I really want to do and try; writing them down has given me a little extra push to follow through. I’m assessing as I go, so we’ll see what happens!

I’ve decided to publish my list here as an extra piece of accountability. Maybe someone will come up with a brilliant idea to help me out or even want to tackle one of these with me? Let me know!

Here’s my list:

  1. Get a thistle tattoo.
  2. Try intermittent fasting 1x a week.
  3. Do 10 “real” push ups.
  4. Make ice cream two times.
  5. Go on a writing retreat.
  6. Read three books on writing.
  7. Attend a writing course.
  8. Do a 5 km open water swim.
  9. Visit London and another part of Europe.
  10. Get married.
  11. Write 2 blog posts per month.
  12. Keep a one sentence journal.
  13. Choose a signature colour.
  14. Grow my hair longer.
  15. Start a weekly family update.
  16. Read the bible more.
  17. Create a photobook.
  18. Get a new kitchen.
  19. Get a mammogram.
  20. Call my parents more often.

I’ll post an update in a few weeks.

#oneword 2020 WRITE

Choosing one word for the year begins with a promise. It’s a way to tell myself where to focus, how to spend my time, and what to accomplish. Using one word distills the essence of my wants and wishes.

I’m looking towards my next chapter. In a few years, I’ll be leaving my current job to move on to something new. I envy those who know what they want to do next, who have plans, who see the future clearly. I don’t. What I do know is that I need to do something meaningful, interesting, and satisfying. I’ve struggled to settle on what that might be. A different job? A focus in another sector? A new business? A non profit?

Photo Credit: mbiebusch via Compfight cc

Enter my #oneword 2020. It scares me to put this word down. All my previous #onewords (Grace, Explore, Action) have been easy. Those words implied some thinking and reflection, some small steps, and an overall gathering of direction. They didn’t scare me.

“Write” means I have to take this seriously. I’m signalling to the world and to myself that I want to be a writer. It’s true that I write in this space and for my job, and I’ve even started a semi-regular family update, but I want more. This is an entirely new feeling for me as I’ve never seriously considered that I could be a writer.

I spoke with a friend who’s a published author about this new direction. I was picking his brain about his writing process and he asked me some questions too. I mentioned that I’d been doing some reading about writing and he gave me a look. “What?’ I said.

“You could spend a lot of time asking, reading, and thinking about writing. That will lead to analysis paralysis.” His message was clear.

He’s right.

My #oneword for 2020 is WRITE. Here I go.