by: Sara Hinkle, Jennifer R. Keup, & Jodi Koslow Martin
As we have referenced before, this blog is the descendant of an ongoing Women’s Leadership Book Club in which most of the regular #SAFeminist contributors engage. Our most recent book selection literally started with the daunting questions “When did you make a mistake in your career and what did you learn from it?” The rest of the book, aptly titled Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong, is dedicated to sharing the stories told in response to that question for a number of female leaders from a wide range of professions, including Kim Gordon (bassist and founding member of Sonic Youth), Ruth Reichl (La Times and New York Times food critic, author, and editor of Gourmet magazine), Carol S. Dweck (Stanford psychology professor and motivation researcher), and Dr. Cori Lathan (Founder and CEO of the engineering research and design firm, AnthroTronix).
Reading the very real, sometimes embarrassing, occasionally painful stories was a fascinating and enlightening experience. Especially because it was such a raw insight into the taboo topic of women making mistakes, for which we rarely allow or forgive ourselves due to stringent and typically unrealistic expectations of women that are often self-inflicted but socially endorsed. Continue reading Making it Right After Getting it “Wrong”
by Sara Hinkle
I have long considered myself an extrovert, bolstered by several rounds of MBTI results and my personal experiences. I’m a social person, I appreciate situations where I can collaborate with people, and I draw my energy from being around others. This applies not only to my personal life, but to my professional life as well. At my very first student affairs job as an area coordinator, I had fellow ACs who were hired at the same time that I was. Their jobs were slightly different from mine, but we were peers and contemporaries. I appreciated the experience of being able to consult with them, share ideas, and (occasionally) commiserate about the joys and frustrations of being a live-in professional. I worked at a tiny institution where the staff was lean, but many new professionals have a wealth of peers within their institution at their similar professional level with whom to interact.
Continue reading It’s Lonely at the Top
by Sara Hinkle
As I synthesized the messages of various books and articles focused on women in leadership and considered how they applied to my own life situation, I came to a realization: as a single, childless woman in my 40s, my point of view is not really being represented at all. The messages out there are primarily targeting the working mom. As Kerry Hannon noted in Forbes in a critique of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In,
Sandberg spends the lion’s share of her book on the challenges facing working women with young children. But the plight of women without kids in the workplace is virtually ignored, even though nearly 1 in 5 American women exits her childbearing years childless.
Indeed, Hannon echoed my feeling that my perspective was not being captured. Further, I’ve found many of the messages being delivered to be frustrating and even insulting at times. Allow me to elaborate on the plight of the invisible single woman.
Continue reading The Invisible Single Woman