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This month’s excellent Workspan cover story (“Nevertheless, She Persisted,” March 2019) was powerful, the title was spot-on, and Karen Kelley’s no-holds-barred comments challenged the status quo and touched me personally.
“I am both sorry and angry about all of the energy women have expended, and will continue to expend, to cope with everyday discrimination — by rising above it, by fighting it, by convincing themselves it isn’t personal, by being diminished by it and then building themselves up again, only to be diminished again,” said Karen Kelley, chief learning officer at WorldatWork. “What a vicious cycle. It goes on endlessly. Think about how much more creatively all of that energy could be used.”
I believe Karen is significantly younger than I am, but she perfectly captured the frustrations and wasted energies experienced by so many of my generation. We’re proud of the numerous accomplishments and milestones we’ve achieved in the workplace over the last few decades. Nonetheless, there’s so much more that could have been and can be achieved if the playing field was anywhere near level. Worse yet, as her quote captured, we’ve often felt the lack of progress was somehow our fault!
THANK YOU, Karen, for so perfectly articulating the frustrations, machinations and games that are still so pervasive for women at work! You did your gender, your employer and your publication proud. Congratulations to Workspan for fearlessly addressing the issue, and to Karen for giving voice to what so many of us have been feeling. I continue to be impressed!
Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP
Author · Speaker · Strategist