Friday, October 18, 2013

Man Haters Club

Yesterday I led a discussion on the Book Lean In at my Women in eDiscovery meeting.  Wait, what the heck is that?  So I am a member of a women's organization for women in my profession.  Electronic Discovery is hard to explain (sometimes I think even The Husband and my Mom don't know what I do).  According to wikipedia it means:

Electronic discovery (or e-discovery or eDiscovery) refers to discovery in civil litigation which deals with the exchange of information in electronic format (often referred to as electronically stored information or ESI).[1] These data are subject to local rules and agreed-upon processes, and is often reviewed for privilege and relevance before being turned over to opposing counsel.

Basically, I help lawyers exchange electronic evidence.  The movies have been lying to you, both sides have to share evidence and there very little "surprise I have the smoking gun you didn't know existed" moments in real courts.  Its very detail oriented, and no, I don't actually read all the things I see so I don't know their business.  The job is fairly nerdy, and has historically been a pretty male dominated profession.  So we have a women's group so that we can share, network, learn from, and support each other.

I read the book last year and suggested it as a monthly meeting topic, and agreed to present a summary and lead a round table discussion with my peers.  I work in a male dominated office (which I actually like and prefer to a mostly women office) and they jokingly call it the man haters club.  Nice to know sexism is not dead.  Kidding, I love them and it's a great place to work.

It was a really interesting discussion, and I concluded that your experience as a higher-level professional working women is influenced by a variety of factors.  I am lucky enough to work someplace that is very supportive of having a family and achieving a work/life balance.  They don't mind me and my crazy, and actually appreciate my organizational skills and bossy tendencies.  They know I cry if I get really mad, and luckily I have only exploded on them a few times.  But the nice thing about guys is that they forget you acted like a crazy and won't mention it or hate you for it later.

Another major factor that I think has contributed to my drive to succeed in the work place is my father.  He always told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be.  He emphasized my brain over my looks, and told me not to marry a loser.  Pretty good advice if you ask me.  Thanks to his guidance, I have always been one to "sit at the table" and make my thoughts heard.  I don't really have a problem speaking up for myself, and I am confident in my abilities at work and at home.  And if I am not, I will totally overcompensate so you don't know that I am not confident.

I don't know where this is going, but if you are a working women I would encourage you to read the book.  And know that you are being a great role model for your children, especially little girls.  I try my best to emphasize Hadley's hard work and intelligence over her cuteness.  There are so many pressures on women today - SAHM vs Working Moms, body wars, breastfeeding wars, etc.  I just want Hadley to be confident in her abilities and to be able to achieve whatever it is that will make her happy.

No comments: