I didn’t speak up, and I regret that.
Not because the outcome would have been different, but because my reasons for staying quiet supported someone else’s narrative. You know, the kind of narrative that gets hurled against smart, capable women who see problems and want to fix them.
The regrets in my career are almost never about speaking up with the intent to fix a problem, even if my thoughts weren’t well-received.
They are about the times that I kept my mouth shut for fear of being “that woman” or being labeled difficult.
How could I possibly be difficult? I was working myself to the bone every day, bleeding myself dry for my job, and that was apparent to everyone.
Yet here I was, with a track record of best intentions and giving to my detriment, and I let myself get steamrolled because speaking up, again, would feed a narrative that I was just unable to “make it work.”
Maybe it didn’t work because it was broken, and the problem wasn’t the squeaky wheel but rather the whole dang car.
Screw that. Fine. I’m difficult.
I was wrong every time I shut myself up to avoid being labeled “not a team player,” “difficult,” “contrary” or whatever other euphemisms they use to make women question their independent thoughts.
Who wants to join me on team difficult? We’re going to be over here getting things done, fixing the problems we see in the world, building genuine, authentic relationships, running companies, being compassionate and dedicated and doing the dang thing.
Are we actually difficult? No. We’re brilliant, strong, independent and powerful. But we shouldn't stand by and let woman dull their power anymore.
So join me on #teamdifficult. Respond with the hashtag in the comments if you’re part of the squad.
**Oh, and black women should not be four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women in the wealthiest country in the world. Let’s fix that together, okay?
#elletwo #teamdifficult #womenintech #womenineverything #gettingthingsdone