Your Job is Hard Enough

Your Job is Hard Enough
Almost every office has an informal caretaker. I don’t mean the evening cleaning service or the executive assistant who manages the work life of the boss. What I am referring to is the person (most likely a woman) who oversees non-work issues and activities. This person may volunteer to bake or bring in refreshments for office celebrations. She may organize purchasing gifts, hanging decorations, and being certain everyone else has a good time. If someone misses the party, you can be ... Read more
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Being Called “Young Lady” is Not a Compliment

Being Called “Young Lady” is Not a Compliment
Recently, while trying to make a point, a male newscaster referred to his female counterpart as “young lady.” While used in a joking tone, it sounded like a verbal pat on the head, a condescension, a sexist put down. It gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about, but he had to tolerate her input, however misinformed it was. The following day a man at my bank held the door for an older woman. He said, “Come right in, young lady,” despite the obvious ... Read more
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Silencing Women in the Workplace

Silencing Women in the Workplace
We all know the importance of speaking up when we witness injustice, bullying, or unfairness. We also know the importance of being a valued member of a work team and contributing our ideas and efforts. Both are easier said than done, the second especially difficult when a woman works in a male-dominated setting. A certain type of sexism based on credibility seems to begin in the classroom. In grade school, little girls are anxious to raise their hands and participate. As they get into ... Read more
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Don’t Let Success be a Stumbling Block

Don’t Let Success be a Stumbling Block
You’ve been working on a big project for months. Despite setbacks, surprises, and some staff turnover, you are finally done. You know it’s a success. Even the big boss has acknowledged your efforts, and numerous coworkers have congratulated you. You feel like you’ve done double duty for months, and you can’t wait for things to return to the pre-project level. You take a week off and when you come back, people seem to have forgotten that you were the workplace hero ... Read more
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Help for the Little Woman

Help for the Little Woman
I wonder if, sometime in the next four years, I will hear a statement about women from President-Elect/President Trump that is not colored with a sexist crayon. Today, when speaking about Hillary Clinton, Trump announced that he will “help her heal” instead of “locking her up” like he promised during his campaign. The implication is that Clinton is so devastated that he is being magnanimous. She needs Trump’s help to heal—that poor little woman. Hearing that ... Read more
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Does it Really Make Any Difference?

Does it Really Make Any Difference?
We’ve heard weeks of analysis regarding the “haves” and the “have nots” in our country. The recent Presidential election harped on the success of 1% of the wealthiest and the fact that the middle class is disappearing, yet poverty wasn’t front and center. Statistics about poverty certainly exist, but they don’t seem to demand enough attention. For example, one in five children goes to bed hungry every night. When we read or hear that statement, we ... Read more
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Do You Know When to Quit?

Do You Know When to Quit?
How often have you stayed with a project or activity or relationship too long? Perhaps there came a point when you knew it was going to fail, but you hung on anyway for a variety of reasons. You may have had time, emotional energy, or money invested. Perhaps you simply hate to fail at anything or to admit that you are wrong. Maybe the consequences of stopping seemed greater than the cost of continuing. The concept of “fail fast” is popular in the business environment. When ... Read more
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How Do You Work with the Office Tweaker?

How Do You Work with the Office Tweaker?
You probably know someone who can never let well enough alone, who always has a way to do something better or differently or more? These individuals drive friends, family, and coworkers crazy because their projects and plans never quite get finished. They are continually tweaking things. Tweakers struggle with minutiae. For them, the big picture gets eclipsed by the details, and instead of controlling the project, they get stuck trying to control relatively unimportant tasks. These are the ... Read more
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Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.
The first time I read Samuel Beckett’s quote “Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better” I did not fully understand it or grasp the importance of those words. As a young social worker, a client painted this quote for me. It took years (and mistakes, setbacks, and disappointments) for the meaning of this sentiment to fully sink in. I was reminded of this quote again this week, upon hearing that Hillary Clinton would not be our first female President. Despite all of our hope—and arguably our need—to ... Read more
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What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?

What’s Wrong with Ambitious Women?
Recently, while on the campaign trail, President Obama noted differences in perception that still exist regarding ambitious men and women. Ambitious men are seen in a positive light, while ambitious women are suspect. For some reason, the motives of high-achieving women are challenged. Their talents are questioned. Their leadership skills are downplayed. Their success is discounted, attributed to others, or chalked up to luck. Women and their ideas and achievements may be accepted as part ... Read more
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