“Sit at the table”. Four words that resonated with me when I heard them some years ago. This is certainly not a new concept, but only now am I pushing myself to live by it. So what exactly does it mean to “sit at the table”? To me it means not only having your voice heard but also having it respected.
It was a few years ago I heard a Ted Talk by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), which I’m sure most are familiar with by now. After hearing that lecture, I was really inspired. It made me question why I was so reserved in the workplace. I’ve been working for a long time (LONG TIME) and have had some amazing opportunities. What most would never know is that I’ve never felt truly confident in myself to speak out. My thoughts, ideas, suggestions are most frequently relayed in emails or in one-on-one conversations. I often think to myself – for someone who had been afforded incredible opportunities due to hard work why do I consistently doubt my abilities?
This quote can be applied to many situations for women, not just a boardroom. It can be her involvement in any organization, in government, at school, home – anywhere a woman is worthy of being louder, confident and respected for her contributions. I’ve worked in industries where the Director, Vice President, President positions are mostly given to men. But the air in 2018 feels different for women. Meghan Markle recently gave a speech at the UN Women’s Conference sharing how she could trace her feminism and advocacy efforts back to one moment when she was just 11 years old. We saw at the end of 2017, what I feel is the beginning of the power women have when we truly support each other.
Let 2018 be the year we continue paving the way for our daughters and those younger than us so that we no longer have to fight for a seat at the table.
“Don’t expect that you’ll get to the corner office by sitting on the sidelines” – Sheryl Sandberg