Thanks to my boss who made sure she secured enough tickets for her team, I was able to attend the PBWC conference today. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I came away inspired.
All the keynote speakers were amazing. From Arianna Huffington, US Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Charlotte Beers, Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, to Diane Keaton and all the breakaway session speakers, I was just amazed by their wit, wisdom, and most of all, their candidness. I wasn’t expecting candid.
By the end of the event, I felt great. The event wasn’t sugar-coated (except for the marshmallow treats they served with wine at the reception at the end) and it certainly wasn’t over-hyped. The advice these powerful women imparted was practical and inspiring. I left feeling empowered and inspired. I left the event feeling like I can use all the information to make my career and life better. This morning when I woke up, I had no idea that by the end of the day, I would be wearing the jeans from the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. Yes, I feel closer to other women after this event. And I am glad.
I am glad because I am one of those girls that like boys more. I find them easier to deal with. I like that they tell you what they want and don’t bullshit around. And you know where you stand with them. Not that I don’t like girls. If that was true, I won’t have any girlfriends at all. I just prefer hanging out with guys more. However, guys don’t always like hanging out with me. Or with women. I am not saying that all guys have the “Old Boys Club” mentality (obviously), but I have met some in my working experience. I am very sure that other women have also. And I have encountered some jealousy and pettiness with women also. One of my friend recounted a story where she was hired on in a mostly male-dominated company/industry, and the only other woman there was threatened by her success. When my friend tried to work with her, she lashed out and forced my friend to quit her job. The story did not end well, but I will only say this much… I am sure we all have some stories like this. Whether we were in the receiving end or we were the perpetrator. We all make (made) mistakes, so as long as we learned our lessons, we are better as women/or men.
Not all men are bad, nor are the women. Reflecting on my journey, I was helped by a lot of women (and men). Each taught me wonderful lessons about humanity and gave me pointers on how to excel at work and in life. Along the way, I also made wonderful connections that resulted in great friendships. I do know from being a woman that we are very critical of ourselves and of each other. Most of us are more forgiving of men though. And men seems to be more forgiving of each other or themselves (most of the time). I am not sure if this is a cultural wiring? Or are we taught to be competitive at an early age? Maybe while guys verbally hurl insults at each other and fight with bare knuckles to release their anger, we internalize the anger, but uses passive-aggressive behaviors to impart our frustration? What’s your opinion on this?
At the end of the day, for all of us (women and men) to be successful, we just need to remember that we need to be kinder to each other and recognize that we are all in the same boat (earth). As I get older, I realize that the best method to get something we want is to just ask. And the best way to clear a weird situation is to frankly talk about it. Don’t go around and around in circles no matter how difficult. It’s worth it to clear the air. And the best way to be a better person and to learn from mistakes is to reflect on the situation from different angles.
So today, I learned to be a better person and I am inspired by beautiful and powerful women. I will celebrate that. It’s a great feeling.
As I am winding down this post and looking for the exit, one of the most provoking thoughts right now is from what one of these powerful women said earlier (and I quote loosely), “Many of our leaders today do not lack intelligence. They lack wisdom.”
I agree with this. Do you?