Have Women Ever REALLY Fit In?

Reshma Saujani lit a fire under me this morning.

I was listening to her commencement speech at Smith College, where she promised to no longer advise women on how to combat imposter syndrome.

This took me by a total surprise.

As someone who has felt like an imposter in 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 setting -- my engineering classes, my corporate jobs, and even my own business -- I'm always seeking and learning skills to combat this feeling.

And then Reshma put into words something I felt even more than imposter syndrome: "It's 𝙣𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙡 to feel like you don't fit in, when you don't fit in ...

It's never been about whether we're smart enough, qualified enough, prepared enough...

Imposter syndrome is a 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘺, a way to keep our concentration on our own alleged inadequacies instead of the systems that were designed to make us feel that way in the first place".

*finger snaps for days* 👏👏👏

I work with INCREDIBLE women every day, who are always working on themselves because we're conditioned by culture and society to fit into the system if we want to succeed.

Let's be real: fitting in means being more masculine. "Act like a man".

"Leaning in".

𝗙𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 for a higher salary.

Speaking with more authority. Appearing more confident. Growing thicker skin.

Being less sensitive, less emotional. Even though those are powerful, feminine traits.

They just don't fit in the workforce as it is and as it functions "successfully".

Reshma challenges us to not only hold ourselves accountable but people and institutions that have the power and responsibility to adjust the workplace to women, instead of making women adjust to the workplace.

When I first started my business, I was moved to do exactly that -- create a safe environment to teach women how to embrace being themselves, so they can do what they do best -- heal the world.

I know it won't happen overnight, no lasting changes do, and I'm committed to speaking up and doing the work.

Are you?