- Anou Mana
Am I inspiring anyone?
I was honored to be along with other women who have contributed to the community in one of the International Women's Day celebrations. During my speech at that event, I posed a question to a large group of women who were there: "How many of you consider yourself to be inspiring and a role-model to someone else?" I was happy to see that at least four or five hands went up in the crowd. A few more probably wanted to raise their hands and didn’t out of humility. You know these questions are actually tricky; there is a fine line between self-confidence and arrogance. Maybe these women were worried about being perceived as arrogant. I posed a second question: "How many of you look up to your mother as a role model?" It was funny; almost all hands went up instantly! They didn’t even think twice. Then, I asked my final question: "How many of you have kids?" There were big smiles on their faces as they realized where I was going with this. Knowingly or unknowingly, kids look up to their parents as role models (at least that's how it starts; the teenage years are a whole other story!). Many women take a back seat in their careers to help their families. But think about the message you are sending to your kids. Actions speak louder than words. I am not saying, you shouldn't sacrifice for the family but it is not just one gender who must think about the work-family balance. Women as mothers are so powerful; there is a reason all children look up to their mothers!
By taking a back seat in our careers, what is the message we are sending to our daughters and what is the expectation we are setting for our sons? Remember, you are inspiring the next generation. To create a better world with equality, you need to show them what is the right way, both at home and in our careers.