“This isn’t what we fought so hard for when we finally broke the glass ceiling, is it?” The words were spoken by a successful 50 something female lawyer on a TV drama to a law firm peer. These ladies were confounded by the decision of a promising young lawyer. She had just announced her intention to resign from her career trajectory to be a wife and mother. This was televisions attempt to be profound, reflecting what they considered a cultural phenomena.
The glass ceiling they were speaking of is the battle in the 60’s and 70’s waged to create opportunity for females in the workplace. Opportunity for advancement, for holding the leadership positions rather than the clerical. To become the company president not the company secretary, choosing paths without limitation. Thought to be the most noble of goals by many of that generation.
I find it fascinating this is always televisions' portrayal of the baby boomer generation of females. Without doubt opportunity was created in the workplace for our gender, but some ladies seem to be stuck there, believing entering the workplace is the only choice of value. Not true of the entire generation but it is the accurate portrait of the most outspoken.
Little girls grow up with fairy tale stories, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Cinderella. These stories portray the happily ever after, the finding of the glass slipper that begins the quest of a prince to find the love of his life. Marriage, a grand ball and happily ever after was once a little girls dream. Unfortunately this dream evolved into the grown up girl “it’s not real life” category. Well, in some ways it's not but in other ways it really is. No one can be happily ever after every moment of every day, but there is a “you can have a great life filled with an abundance of happiness in all areas of life”.
If the glass ceiling generation of females meant what they said, everything should be on the table for females. You should be able to follow your course; your purpose and that very well may be leaving a promising career for a family position. It may be combining both working in the job market at the same time caring for your family. It may be that your path leaves you without the prince but with a fulfilling career allowing you the ability to care for others that need care while truly unencumbered.
I want all young ladies to know this; whatever was fought for should be about choosing your life course without restriction. Absolutely, positively choosing with not one bit of restriction or judgement. You are here for a purpose. You have a life that you are to fulfill. Each and every path open to a female has value, has worth. You my dear were created to impact the world you are to be part of. No matter what you choose, your workplace, your home front, your family, your community each decision is to be purposed and lauded. Each decision is to be made by you with those you love.
So girls, here you go, you break that glass ceiling, you grab that glass slipper, decide your life course. Not the baby boomer generation of outspoken females or the TV drama that thinks it’s somehow profound. Step back, find your purpose then create your life. The life that only you can accomplish.
Darlene Brock, the author of Help Wanted: Moms Raising Daughters (OakTara/The Grit and Grace Project, 2011) is a motivated self-starter who, while raising her two daughters, found time to produce award-winning music videos, manage recording artists, promote concerts throughout the US, and serve as the Chief Operating Officer of ForeFront Records. Yet, when reviewing her varied accomplishments and successful career, she proclaims her most important and fulfilling job is Mom. For more about The Grit and Grace Project, OakTara and Facebook.com/The Grit and Grace Project.