1. The self-doubt that creeps into your head every time someone talks about how much women get paid in your industry. (And how so few of them may make it to the very top.)
2. Being called a bitch because you’re willing to be assertive. Whereas the same words and same actions would earn a man the title of being a “go-getter.”
3. Constantly being asked how you plan on balancing career and family. (And wondering why men never get asked the same question.)
4. Balancing your desire to be paid more, with a prudence over how much any person at your level might actually earn.
5. Moments of subtle sexism at your workplace that you often just let slide because you’ve simply got bigger fish to fry.
6. Moments of obvious sexism that you just can’t let slide. But then you become that girl and you feel as if everybody may now have to watch themselves around you. But not a bad way.
7. Feeling like people expect you to be competing with only other women. When in reality you don’t care about anyone’s gender like that. You want to beat whoever is the best so you can be the best.
8. Trying to find the common ground between supporting other women and not just being on someone’s side because they are a woman. Which is a lot more difficult than it sounds.
9. Legitimately being worried about your educational or professional achievements being intimidating to potential mates. Because no matter what some may tell you, you know that some will be turned off by it. (But really, this is no loss in the long-run.)
10. Going back and forth between playing down your achievements and wanting to scream them over a rooftop. Because you know how hard you worked for many of them.
11. Sometimes feeling like you can’t escape the old boys club of any industry you’re in. And even if you have an “in,” you still feel like you it’ll be a while before you belong.
12. Having legitimate fears about when and how you’re going to have children and start a family with all your career goals. (Even if you’re single, yes, you still worry about this.)
13. Always feeling like everything you do is going to be a reflection of your gender so you work extra hard to make sure you do a good job. And hoping, contrary to popular belief, that your work does make space for more women.
14. Being questioned about your emotional or hormonal state when you say and do things that people don’t like. (Really, can society just put this to rest already?)
15. Everyone telling you that you can’t have it all. When you’re not even sure that you want it all or what “all” even is anymore. A successful life, and not just a successful career is what you want. And that looks different on everybody.
16. Feeling like your professional acclamation and achievements will never be as important to those who know you as your relationship and familial accomplishments. Both are important and you wish both were seen as important.
17. Knowing that ultimately if you want to go as far as possible, it’s not just up to you. You’ll need some help to beat the odds. And maybe some kind gestures from lady luck.