Just Because I'm A Woman

by Julie Graber | on 24 Feb 2020

Just because I’m a woman.

I ran across this phrase in a couple of recent news articles.

In one case, the author was adamant that she was selected for the executive level position she now holds because she was the best candidate for the job - not because of her gender (and she know this how?).

In the other case, a woman turned down the opportunity to serve on a corporate board because she felt, based on her interview with the board representatives, that their only interest in her was because she was a woman and would bring gender diversity to the board.

Think of where we’d be if every woman (or person of color) who had ever been given an opportunity had turned that offer down because they didn’t want their gender or race to be the reason. I don’t even know where to start with a list of “firsts” that never would have happened.

The deck has been stacked since the dawn of time. Men have been given opportunities for hundreds of years where the first qualification they checked off list was their gender. Can you imagine men turning those opportunities down because they didn’t want their race or gender to be a factor?

Believe me - I get it - everyone wants to think that they have gotten to where they are based on the illusion of merit. Let me clear something up for you - merit is in the eyes of the beholder - and it’s usually when that beholder is looking in a mirror. The idea that merit is the only thing that factors into any hiring decision/selection criteria is a joke. So get over it.

It’s OK to be a token - it’s what you do with the opportunity that matters. Take the job/role/position/project - prove that you were the best choice to begin with - and when it’s time for you to move up (or on), make sure that the candidates considered to replace you include people just like you.

Somebody has to be first. Diversity has to start somewhere. Who better than you?

Tags:  In the News