This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StrengthHasNoGender #CollectiveBias
I am so excited to be teaming up with Brawny today to talk about strong women! They recently changed up their iconic branding (for a limited time) to showcase a strong woman on the front of the exclusive to Walmart, limited-edition Strength Has No Gender™ pack as part of their new #StrengthHasNoGender campaign. The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign is highlighting inspirational stories of everyday women in cities across America who have been breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries and empowering others.
I love running my blog but it’s a hobby and passion project. My real career is working in software and technology and I absolutely love what I do in the office all day. I work 40 – 50 hours per week in a heavily male-dominated industry and I can relate to misogyny in the workplace. While I work in a fabulous woman-friendly environment now, I’ve had my share of not-so-pleasant experiences too.
Frankly though, it’s something I’ve dealt with for pretty much my entire life.
- In middle school, I opted to take wood shop instead of home economics and was relentlessly teased over it. It wasn’t a big deal, I just prefer spatial drawings and creating things. It was a “boy” class though, so people talked.
- In high school, I did set design and construction for the theatre dept and had my sexuality questioned. I enjoyed interior design and set decorating, but it was a big deal because it was mostly boys on set crew.
- I enjoyed studying physics and after enrolling in a elective physics class in high school, the teacher told me if I’d only signed up for his class to meet boys I should find something else to do with my time.
- I was always fascinated by science, mechanics, and technology but was told it made me nerdy and that people are intimidated by girls that are too smart.
It was frustrating and girls are still being teased and put down over similar things. We need girls to pursue science, mechanics, and technology. We need girls who aren’t afraid to be interested in pursuing STEM careers and demanding acceptance in male-dominated industries. We need girls to be strong and know Strength Has No Gender™.
I was fortunate to have friends and family that always encouraged me to know my worth and know that “you are more”. Regardless of who said it (Pastor, teacher, parent, friend), it always meant the same thing.
You are more
. . . than a girl
. . . than a pretty face
. . . than (your brother’s) sister
. . . than a toy to be played with and tossed aside
It was always about reminding me that I wasn’t defined or limited by my appearance, my circumstances, or my gender. I heard it my whole life, though I didn’t always listen. I ended up making a mess of everything and , in my teens, I fell into a world of parties and drug abuse before entering a controlling 8-year relationship. I had friends and family continually pleading with me and telling me, “You are more. You deserve more.” It took 8 sad and lonely years before I realized that everyone in my life was right. When I finally reached a point where I could believe it, I packed what I could into my compact car and moved 3 states away to escape.
In the 7 years that have passed since that day I returned to and graduated from college, got married to man that believes in and supports my strength as a woman, and now lead a small department for a leading software company in Atlanta, Georgia. Fortunately, despite having made a mess of my life, I was able to turn it around.
It’s about seeing the strength in your life and using that new knowledge to change your life.
- My drug use taught me that I can overcome even when the struggle seems hopeless
- My abusive relationship taught me how to finally set standards and stand up for myself
- Running away to start over proved to me that “the rest of your life starts today” applies every day and that you do have the power to change your future
I love my career and I wouldn’t trade my profession, I’d be remiss if I said it wasn’t a struggle and a journey to get here. Despite having education and experience, a woman leading a department in technology is still viewed as a novelty even though we have powerful females-in-tech like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Laura Dangermond of ESRI, and Judy Faulkner of Epic Systems.
It’s hard to work in an industry where you feel like you have to work longer hours, take on tougher projects, and exceed every deadline just to be noticed in a positive light (and even then it isn’t always enough). It’s why women in this industry change employers so frequently and it’s why there is such a need for young women to know that we need them in STEM careers. We need their minds, their courage, and their strength.
I love seeing a woman on the packaging for Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus. It’s important to see women being strong, taking charge, and leading the future. Brawny® Paper Towels are helping remind women that #strengthhasnogender and despite what a mess your life is, you can fix it like I did. Brawny® offer more sheets on every roll (vs. leading national brand comparable roll and sheet size) and help you clean up whatever life throws down and can be found exclusively at Walmart.
I hope you will all join me in sharing Brawny’s Strength Has No Gender™ campaign and let girls around the world know that “you are more” and that they are strong.
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