Yesterday I had the opporunity to attend two important events in the state of Utah. The first was the Governor’s Economic Summit and the second was a private gathering for “Utah’s Wonder Women.” Both events had a focus on women in leadership, and are committed to helping Utah move our state forward toward equality.
So much good going on in both of these forums, but my most memorable quote from the day came repeated at both of them: “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See.”. This was in reference to defining one of the roles that female leaders need to take both in Utah and around the world. Often, without knowing it, we are role models to those around us. In my case, listening to this made me proud of what I do, not because I have arrived at some place of achievement, but because I am showing my daughter and my son what is possible.
One of our guest speaker, Margit Wennmachers, a partner with Andreessen Horowitz, shared a story about how her daughter’s second grade class had the opportunity to Skype with a female college student in Germany who was studying to be a physicist. Within weeks, four of the girls in the class had decided that when they grow up they want to become physicists too. How amazing that exposure to something alone, puts the seed of an idea in childrens’ minds. What a powerful example.
Sometimes, I look at myself and wonder if all of the stress and pressure, and a feeling of missing out on things in my kids’ lives, makes working worth it. I love what I do. But, I love my kids and Jon more. After yesterday, I gained more realization that although it is, of couse, a trade off, I don’t work just for me. I work for Katharine and Matthew, and for all of the other young women in my life…to help them see what they can be.