Friday, May 3, 2013

Women on a Mission Breaking Stereotypes

My colleagues and I are working on a major process change at work. We're transitioning a few bank accounts to an automatic reconciliation database. While the task has its challenges, it has come with some rewards.

For one thing, the three of us working on the project are women. Second, although one of us is a supervisor, we took the initiative and made the decision on our own. Higher ups have shared their reservations, some having to do with preferring alternative programs while others are taking offense to our independence. But we held our ground and carried through with our plans. So far, so good. We've hit a few obstacles, but we are committed to seeing this thing through.

What's the big deal you ask? Well, within the past month, several people have made comments in my presence about how divisive women can be, especially with one another. Rather than support one another, we contribute to our own setbacks. Confession: I make that argument in my newly released e-book discussing financial literacy and women. Second, we're three underlings taking on a task that usually requires the brainstorming and permission of management. As I said before, this was completely our idea. And though some within the department have expected us to quit, we're still chugging along, seeking different ways to get this job done.

We're learning a lot about one another through this grueling time. Even better, two of us were not on very good terms before the project set off. But every milestone is bringing us closer together in many ways. We're seeing our own potential, and that's a powerful thing. We're also collaborating as women and team members. If you've ever worked on a group project, you understand how challenging that is. But most importantly, we are three women from three different generations and we have joined minds and will to make something work. To put a perspective on things, only one of us will really reap the reward of a successful outcome.

What my colleagues and I have done is challenge stereotypes on a professional, gender, and personal level. Now that's worth the work-life juggling act we have had to put up with.

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