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I will never forget the day when I was five years old and my father sat me down to have "the talk." He told me "when you get older you will have to work 10 times harder because of your brown skin. Don't think for a second that because you are beautiful and intelligent, you will always be treated with respect."
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It made the invisible visible.
My mother's experiences encouraged me to get my MBA and my CFA and to then pursue a career within the financial industry. Throughout my life she reinforced the importance of education at all stages in life. But what's more is that her knowledge and personal experiences that inspired my drive to create a legacy that I wanted for myself and for my own children.
Women have a habit of apologizing regardless of the situation. We over-apologize, and society expects it from us. Constantly saying "sorry" lowers our status, reduces our credibility and makes us seem like doormats.
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And it wasn't even the only one this month!
The Atlantic just ran a long piece titled The Confidence Gap, in which the authors remind us that because of self-doubt, women make less money, receive fewer promotions and rarely land top roles. The message is clear: grow a pair, or enjoy your crappy view from the bottom rungs. It is no good that insecurity and anxiety are the reins holding back a woman at work. But I'm tired of being told the key to success is to change. Man up. Woman down. Instead, corporations could join the 21st century and see "female qualities" as virtues.
Every time I do a TV show, the microphone tech has his hands all over my chest before I even have time to say "yes I do mind, I prefer to install it myself." And then they are always puzzled by where to hook up the battery pack: after 80 years of televised show business, no one in a dress has EVER donned a mic set?
Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post and one of the most powerful women in media, says it is time to redefine the workplace. We need to add a third leg to the stool that measures success by money and power. Our personal well-being is an equally important metric. When we do that we'll become more productive and our companies will benefit as well.
All too often, I think we get caught up in details of success that don't actually mean much to moms. I care far less about having a smartphone than I do about the option of using that smartphone to work from home when one of my kids is sick. It's an extra step, but an important one.