Women in Leadership, a new Blog Series
From a very young age, my mom always reminded me that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. This sentiment always came in the form of a story about how she was only ever encouraged to be a secretary, teacher, or nurse. She had chosen to be a nurse, and was happy with her choice, but she marveled at the vast opportunities that lay before me and my sister.
Decades later, I explored different career options. I “went for it” when opportunities presented themselves and found myself in a very different place than my mom was years before. I held jobs in various industries and disciplines and moved to NYC, Philadelphia, and Germany in support of advancing my career. Along the way, I learned the assumptions and expectations of women in the workplace didn’t always evolve at pace with the changing landscape of career opportunities.
Through different organizations and roles and leaders, there were, of course, highlights and lowlights. There were also many “moments.” The moments happen quickly, and sometimes you don’t recognize their depth until they pass, like:
- Being passed over for a promotion and consoled with comments about having more time to start a family
- Moving to another country for your job and repeatedly being asked, “what company does your husband work for?”
- Speaking up in a meeting to have your point re-articulated by a male counterpart, and only then “heard.”
- Being asked at a work dinner, “Is your husband home babysitting your kids?”
We need to continue to push for women in leadership positions and positions of influence. We need to ensure equity in all opportunities. We have made so much progress. However, as we find ourselves in the middle of a pandemic where women are leaving the workforce in droves, we are reminded of the harsh reality of how far we have to go.
We need to challenge moments that limit our growth as women and as a society. I now look to my own daughter Grace. I try to instill in her the belief that she too can be anything she wants to be when she grows up. Her journey will have its highlights, lowlights, and moments. My hope for Grace and all of us is that we can “choose to challenge,” especially in those moments that matter.
Grace O’Loughlin, age 7, dreaming of future US Presidency
“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.” – Morgan Harper Nichols
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2021, I am proud to be the first of Amplity’s “Women in Leadership” blog series, a collection of personal stories and career advice from our female executive leaders and senior management.
We feel there is power in sharing this authentic collection of female stories in hopes they’ll inspire and uplift the next generation of women currently growing meaningful careers. We have so many inspiring stories to share, this post is just the beginning.