Just that morning, I’d opened up about recent disappointments at work. Seeing the glass ceiling. Cacophonous unspoken messages. Hollow talk about diversity.
That same day, at dinner, my young one confessed that during that afternoon’s co-ed elementary school soccer game, a (female) teammate had gotten quite upset at my young one when my young one had commented on the captains of the opposing team.
“I can’t believe their captains are girls,” the young one had said.
My heart broke.
“Why was that surprising — that she got upset?”, I asked with the appearance of calm curiosity. While righteous female confusion and tears bubbled just below the surface.
“Because all season, the captains have always been boys,” he told me, factually.
“Oh. So, you were surprised that this team had girls as captains because you’d never seen it before?”, I summarized.
“Ya. I mean…I didn’t know it was possible so I was surprised.”
Yep. If we never get a chance to see it…our brain doesn’t have a reference point. For some, seeing it leads to it being cataloged as possible / not possible.
Subconsciously, we say…Show Me.
Show me different skin. Show me different gender. Show me different age. Show me different socio-economic circumstances. Show me different spirituality. Different. Different. Different.
When you show me you tell me. It’s possible.
Different lens brings different thought.
Different thought brings more discussion.
More discussion raises more anticipated ‘gotchas’.
More anticipated ‘gotchas’ leads to better strategy, plans, products…results.
It starts so young. This idea of what’s surprising about women in leadership.
It makes me tired.
And…then I remember. This soccer season, there were girls on the team. This soccer season, one team from another school had two female captains.
At least 100 soccer players saw it was possible.
Including my young one.
I look forward to next year…