#et4women Work Life Balance is Not Being Afraid

I had the honor and privilege of being on the #et4women in ed tech panel with Keesa Muhammad-MSU, Tracy Clark-EdTech Women ATX, Maha Bali-AUC, Cario, Egypt (virtually), and Amy Collier-Stanford University, as moderator. We shared stories of vulnerability, authenticity, shame, guilt and the need for women to support women. I was touched by the number of women and men who thanked me for sharing my PhD journey and said that it brought them to tears. We shared memories of pumping breast milk in a bathroom stall and being afraid to say the reason we are not in the office is because of our family. One woman later stated she would never say the reason she needs to leave early was because of a child related issue. She didn’t want to be judged for making her family a priority. I was shocked to hear a woman say she was told, “you’re good looking, you should use that to your advantage”.  It is 2015 on our calendars but it might as well be 1940 within the walls of many offices. The conversation was raw, emotional, and transparent. We need as many conversations like this as it takes.

What advice did we share? Listen with intention, ask questions, and help someone have that break through moment. The final question asked was, “What will you do differently?” Go to #et4women and post your reply.

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