I hope you are all doing well. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have so much to tell you. The past 2 months have probably been the most challenging and rewarding months of my life.
I had the privilege of being in the final graduate selection for a fortune 500 company, as well as the biggest bank in Africa. It was so crazy.
Although this was an amazing and very humbling experience; I must admit that I really thought I was from a generation of semi-revolutionary women. Women who were hungry to equalize the playing field in the corporate world. I’m sad to say that I saw the reason why “we are better” in the middle than the top. WE ARE AFRAID. It is just so sad because we are the generation with so many great female references yet we still behave so timidly. We are offered more through passes than we have ever had, yet we still sit back and opt not to lean in. We would rather follow than lead. We have greater ideas but zero strategy. We would rather be nice and make everyone feel comfortable around us and like us, instead of being bold, confident and gritty.
You know what the funny thing is. Women have it all. The whole package… so when women try, they almost always win. I had the opportunity of networking with an amazing woman who in 3 months of being in THE organisation, had been offered an opportunity to head a newly created division. SHE SAID YES and took the opportunity. Mind you, this whole thing, from the required skills and strategy was something she was never and could never be prepared for. SHE TOOK A PLUNGE AND LEANED IN, so now, she is being written about by me. Why? She’s a game changer! She did something many of us fail to do because we are waiting to feel worthy of our opportunities. This is something men DO NOT DO. This is how men get their opportunities. They are grittier. Grit isn’t even something you are taught at school. So why cant we just get it!? Why cant we take the plunge and throw ourselves in the deep end instead of waiting for Godot? It is such a frustrating thing to observe.
So at THE organisation’s final selections there were 64 successful candidates. What does this mean? If you have no grit, you’re fucked. These are the top 64 individuals in the whole country. The best of the best. What sets you apart lady? You’re smart? Try something else. Something they don’t teach you in class. The second I set foot in that conference room I knew it was on. Being pretty and smart was not going to work here. It was not that kinda party. An opportunity arose (AS IT ALWAYS DOES) and I had to make a decision. Do I or don’t I lean in. Do I stand out or do I blend in the crowd? Let me tell you; out of 64 people in this conference room, only 5 leaned in. Of this 5, two of them were women.
So there you go. There’s a nauseating stat for you. It made me think for a second…. What if there are opportunities but women are just fucking them up because of their issues? What if women are no longer oppressed, but because of the post traumatic stress from the oppression, we have not realised, or, we do not believe that we have been emancipated? Just a thought… use it, don’t use it (READ: USE IT).