The phrase, “You Go, Girl” has become one of those empowering statements that says a lot about women and about the support of their peers. Over the years, women’s role in the workplace has developed so beautifully into this full-bodied reality, but the encouragement of fellow female workers has lagged behind. It’s funny that the phrase is somewhat of a cheer; a typically female role, but it is so much more than that, it is the quintessential “Atta Boy” for girls!
Through all the advancements women have made since Rosie the Riveter came onto the scene, there are still times we are lead to protect our growth and fight to move forward one cheer or protest at a time.
While I have never felt slighted or “picked over” because of my sex, I have seen instances where an expectation for “secretarial” duties was inferred. Once, at a planning meeting, and being the only woman, I was asked to keep notes for everyone. I kindly deferred stating that my hand-writing was atrocious, which it is not; that was my protest.
Now let me state that ANY duty, secretarial or otherwise is not beneath me; my objection was at being the assumed minute-taker. That role was not even considered by most, if not all of my male counterparts…and I almost assumed the role myself, until I realized this may be an opportunity to take a stand. I’m not saying that the intentions of the room were even sexist; I was just making sure that they weren’t.
I’ve had three male assistants over the years. I’m not “getting back” at men, however; they were the most qualified for the position. I believe in that philosophy. While I am female, Hispanic and short (not a protected class, but sometimes a factor), I will tell you that I have never gotten (or not gotten) a job because of those traits; it happened that I was often the best “man” for the job!
Now, back to the “atta girls,” and what I see as an opportunity to flourish exponentially over the next decade by empowering our sisters. Not every woman had a strong role model or a healthy perspective of men growing up. Not every woman has the confidence to take a stand or even believe in her own ability. But EVERY woman can use a “you go, girl” every now and then to keep her motivated and on track.
So, beginning in 2010 if every woman of power made a concerted effort to encourage every other woman at every opportunity, the world would be a stronger, richer and more graceful place by 2020. John Wesley most eloquently captured this thought in words, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as often as you can!” I say to John Wesley, “You go, boy!”