A woman, the first in her family, graduates from a small college nearby her home. She majors in math, and lands a good job at a nationally known insurance company. Graduating in the late 60’s, she is the first class of women hires for positions above clerical work.
However, not all find this a great accomplishment. “Go and find a husband”, “don’t you realize you are taking jobs from men who need to support their families?”, and “you are robbing a man of his position”, were common refrains, along with childish pranks. These were men in similar jobs, who envied this woman. Men, maybe who weren’t used to seeing women as their equals, men who hadn’t been in the corporation long enough to feel the years of small rumblings finally leading to change, men who just didn’t appreciate this woman in this role.
I’m so proud to say that this woman is MY MOTHER! My Mom graduated, went to work in the city she grew up in, and faced challenges those first few years. It was only recently that my mom shared this with me. For nearly 20 years, my Mom worked in that company, blazing her trail.
That’s why when I was talking to my friends the other day, I was so inspired as I remembered my mom’s journey. We were discussing many repeated thoughts that come up during this 20-somethings stage o’ life: what do I want to do, how do I advance, how do I go after what is most important.
Then, my friend Brig, mentioned this great TED talk from COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. We ladies commiserated over the truths that Sheryl spoke of, how we have not sat at the table with our peers, how we’ve made decisions for things that are yet to be in existence, how we are prepping ourselves to need to be superwomen in order to do it all, despite the fact that we know that we shouldn’t do these things, and that our mothers fought battles so that we wouldn’t have to think such things!
I highly recommend watching this video. Its free of judgment, and full of hopeful encouragement. In honor of my mom, and all those ladies before us, let’s be the generation that continues to push forward.