At the end of September, I started this series about Lean In and I’m excited to continue it today.
Last month we talked about career advancement doesn’t mean moving up the ladder. Sometimes you have to go sideways to get to where you want to go. We also talked about mentors. Mentors is a relationship, like any other relationship and it takes time to find the right person to fit with you. You don’t need to go and say, “Be my mentor” to someone you admire. Get to know them before you ask them to be your mentor to make sure that they are what you are looking for.
Did you know that I had never had a female manager until 2011? Yes, it’s true. In every single job I had – including the ones I had in college – were all males. I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder how I will get along with my manager”. This is because she was a women and I never had a female manager before. It ended up being fine and I was worrying for no reason. She really took me under her wing and helped me to grow into a better employee.
But what struck me in Lean In was that there just aren’t a ton of female managers out there. Yes, there are lots of female managers at many companies, but there aren’t more than male managers. I don’t know if that will ever change. But one day, I would like to be one of those female managers so that I can help female employees know their worth.
This next topic might inspire even more posts about it, but I do think it’s important to talk about it. Why does society think that women need to leave the workplace when they have kids? Why are women almost expected to quit their jobs? What about the men and why hasn’t this notion not changed since 1950? You wonder why women are leaving the workforce, but there are people who believe that women should be taking care of kids and not working.
Why is that? Why can’t women have kids and still work? Why can’t that be the norm instead of women leaving the workplace? I know that if Jeremy and I have kids, we will both be working. I won’t be leaving to be at home full time. There isn’t anything wrong if you choose to stay at home with your kids. But I want to emphasize, choose. I don’t want women to leave the workplace because they feel pressure from society to do so. I want them to choose to either stay at home or continue to work on their own. Don’t let society affect what you want to do. And don’t let having a child mean that you can’t continue with your career.
I think more women need to remember that. For some reason, society has decided that we should stay at home and take care of the kids, but what about what we want? Don’t we get a choice in the matter too?