I’m on my way to Ross School of Business to be on a panel titled Being a Woman Leader in a Male Dominated Industry and it really has me riled up…

I was listening to a podcast on the plane where a pollster polled US and Canadian citizens. The question was – “would society be better off if the man was the master of his house?”

That’s crazy, right? Surely the vast majority of people would think that is the craziest thing they’ve ever heard…

Nope. 53% of Americans said yes! 53%!!! (63% of American men said yes)

Compared to 23% of Canadians, 17% of Canadian women.

53%. I just can’t get over that.*

So anyway, I’m on my way to Michigan’s Ross. I’ll be away from my beautiful baby boy and girl an extra day this week. And I want to make it worth it —

  • I’ll tell these young women about the time I first met a CMO and whenever I asked a question, he’d look at my boss when he answered. It wasn’t until I facilitated a hugely important dialogue that he realized I knew what I was doing. Our relationship flourished. But still – I had an extra hurdle to overcome to prove myself.
  • I’ll tell them about the time I returned from maternity leave, asking someone for support in rebuilding my sales pipeline for him to react, “I don’t know how you women do it.” Not surprising – he never called me with opportunities.
  • I’ll tell them I stopped wearing make-up three years ago. Not because I think there is anything wrong with make-up, but because I finally realized the only reason I personally wore make-up is because society told me I should. I hate make-up. And I finally found the confidence to be more of my authentic self.
  • I’ll tell them how much I loved Zootopia. Shit, I bought it. It wasn’t until my 10th time through the movie that I realized it was horrid. You want to succeed if you are “different?” Then you MUST be the best of the best. You will have to overcome ridiculous barriers. Everyone will be rooting against you — even your parents. How dumb that I played this movie to inspire my toddler to think anything is possible?! Why did it take me so long to see? (And damn you for still having catchy music!)
  • I’ll tell them that we still are so far away from parity. And on top of that, 53% of US citizens are rooting against us.

I want fire in the blood of these young women. Because tonight, that 53% put some fire in me.

*The Wilderness; The Ceiling episode


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