Step Up and Disrupt the Current Workplace Dynamic

Women in leadership today face many obstacles, but also many opportunities. Women are still raised to be nice, polite, and accommodating—and to take care of others. Unfortunately, in male-dominated organizations, or organizations filled with people taught to think like men, these traits result in supportive or assisting roles, which are valuable but not the only skills women have to offer. Nationally, this has created a country where there is a lack of gender diversity in leadership roles across all industries; it has also resulted in women receiving unequal pay.

It has been instrumental for me to upend these norms and evaluate how I use my voice and the types of roles I take on, and to manage relationships so that they are mutually beneficial. I have learned to bring my full self to work, to set the right tone to create an environment where everyone’s opinion is respected, and where women affirm each other. Some of my best career opportunities arose from other women opening a door or advocating for me. It has been women who trained me, supported me, and amplified my voice. As I reflect on my leadership journey, I think about how I can provide these opportunities for other women, not to the exclusion of men, but in consideration of refreshing age-old norms and attitudes.

The Me Too movement is a reminder of women’s power and how it benefits all of us. I believe now is the time for women to view our womanhood and our unique talents as assets rather than liabilities. The illuminating era we now live in is bursting with opportunities for us to step up and step out. I urge you to do this within your organizations by being yourself, volunteering for new opportunities, and welcoming uncomfortable conversations. Personally, I am stepping up and stepping out to disrupt the workplace dynamic by valuing myself, seeing the potential in everyone—especially women, and being the change I wish to see.