Watching the presidential elections from abroad leaves me with many questions. I am a woman—a professional woman who has worked at high levels in male dominant structures and companies internationally.
Did I meet men like the incoming president? Yes I did. And I have met men who (never to my face, yet definitely behind my back) suggested that I had “slept” my way up. They always argued that it was impossible that I would have the proper education, knowledge and skills to perform at the level I was.
These insinuations did two things: First, I dismissed them as soon as they were brought to me, and second, I worked even harder—it made me want to outdo the nay-sayers with an even better performance than I had displayed until that moment. I always had the urge to get even. Sometimes I would get very upset when I heard another round of the rumors—I just felt sad and disheartened that people were so eager to continue to disbelieve my abilities.
Now I look at the incoming president and all the rumors surrounding him. They do not have to be true, we will never know. Yet looking at the person holding a press conference, it is clear that he does not respect any established rules and/or regulations. I do not see a display of basic respect for the individual, the human being. He steps on dignity and integrity with everything he has and every opportunity he gets.
It’s hard to say who he disrespects most, the immigrants (legal or not), the people filling the blue color jobs who are working in his companies and have played a part in his growing wealth or, just women. I wonder where all of this will lead?
Even more important is the question of integrity. What we would do if offered a job working in this administration? Do you accept the job and not look at the circumstances, or do you stand tall and decline a good job opportunity and forget that your values will be stepped on daily.
I am not sure what I would do. The reasoning would go on forever in my head. The pro’s and con’s would be listed on more than one piece of paper. Will my value system, integrity and basic respect—both needed and wanted, overrule the economic advantages, benefits for my family and the possibilities for career advancement and potentially improved status? I think this would be a very difficult question and a hard decision to make.
It is a topic though for women particularly to look at and make a decision. Career advancement with or without benefits, or stay true to your personal value system. A very difficult topic and not easy to predict how everything will develop.
My wish on the eve of the inauguration is that integrity, respect and a solid value system will govern the upcoming presidential period. May the women find a positive way to move up in this world and not have to make sacrifices, or be sacrificed. As they have the knowledge, they act, they move and they can do it!