I’m Jess. I am a 39-year-old socially awkward White CIS female. I live in Michigan with my husband and two dogs, and love my flannel pants more than I love most people. I am a middle-manager in an academic and IT context, which can, from time to time, run counter to nearly everything I’ve just told you. That’s why I’m here.
Here’s the dish. A quick, super-scientific Google image search for the term “leader” (of COURSE safe search was activated… this time) that I just did returned the following delightful and holistic representation of my field.
Wow. I can totally see myself in that! Yeah, no, that’s bullshit. I am not:
- Reminiscent of Fischer-Price children’s figures
- Prone to standing in front of my team with my arms crossed while they line up behind me, an army of willing go-getters
- One who looks good in a necktie
Maybe I’m being testy. Gosh, Internet, I so frequently underestimate your inclusive wiles. Maybe I wasn’t clear. Let’s try again, shall we? What about “women in leadership?”
Yikes. That’s a lot of, um, straight hair and power suits.
Let me give you some context from a day I spent working from my home office earlier this week:
- Not sure what my hair was doing
- Not sure what my face was doing
- That is my dressiest sweatshirt
- I have no idea how to use the sewing machine behind me for anything other than accidentally sewing things to my shirt.
I am a leader. Right? Right. So. Hello, world. Let’s figure this ish out.
In the coming weeks, I plan to explore these tensions. To be clear “explore” may mean any of the following things: question, vent, proselytize, weep, gnash, pine, whine, wonder, wander, and/or surrender. I will probably also interview people I admire. Because admiring people is neat.
Here we go.