Yes­ter­day I attend­ed the month­ly Goer­ing Cen­ter Exec­u­tive Lun­cheon to sup­port my moth­er who was on the pan­el. The top­ic up for dis­cus­sion was “Women Lead­ers in the Fam­i­ly Busi­ness”. The pan­el includ­ed my moth­er, Mack­ey McNeill, Robin Sheak­ley of Sib­cy Cline, and Mary Miller, the CEO of Jan­coa Jan­i­to­r­i­al Ser­vices. The lun­cheon was a tru­ly inspir­ing event. It was a treat to lis­ten to the lessons learned, the odds beat­en, and the sheer deter­mi­na­tion that these women have. 

Women Run the WorldMy moth­er told one sto­ry in par­tic­u­lar that received a few gasps and qui­et “wows”. She told the sto­ry of land­ing an inter­view with one of the then “Big 6” account­ing firms. She took the day off work, trav­eled to Atlanta from Athens, and wound up on the 34th floor of the Peachtree build­ing hop­ing for the oppor­tu­ni­ty of a life­time. “I didn’t even have time to warm the leather sofa before one of the part­ners came out to greet me”, Mack­ey said. He extend­ed his arm for a hand­shake, but it might as well have been a knock out punch. This part­ner told Mack­ey that the firm was under the impres­sion she was a man, and they had insti­tut­ed a pol­i­cy of no longer hir­ing women. He apol­o­gized for the incon­ve­nience and sent Mack­ey on her way. 

Now I have heard this sto­ry before. It was a recur­ring theme in my mother’s young career, but it seemed that it hit this lunch time crowd hard. I real­ized some­thing yes­ter­day. I real­ized that my sense of real­i­ty when it comes to women in the work­place is excep­tion­al­ly skewed. 

While grow­ing up in the 80’s most young girls who aspired to be true lead­ers looked up to their fathers or oth­er male role mod­els, not me. The world I lived in was chock full of women lead­ers. I had a rare and invalu­able view of the world and after lis­ten­ing to my mother’s sto­ries yes­ter­day I appre­ci­ate it so much more. 

Who runs the world? Well at least in my world it is women. 

 

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