When the world celebrated #adaywithoutanimmigrant I had no qualms about coming into the office, which may be surprising to some because I am an immigrant. Even more surprising might be the fact that I didn’t become a citizen of the United States until 2009. However, I made the personal decision to work that day, because my company supports immigrants. I am lucky to be a part of an organization that although isn’t perfect, looks at talent before the color of your skin – a company that also makes having a prayer and nursing room a priority.
Today however, I am blogging from my best friends living room in solidarity with #daywithoutawoman, which happens to fall on International Women’s Day. And again, I feel lucky. Lucky to not have ever felt knowingly discriminated by an employer because I am a woman. Lucky to have never known of a man that got my position simply because they had a dick, and lucky that I’ve never known of a man in my position that got paid more just because he owned a pair of balls.
Then I realized that I don’t actually know any men in my position to begin with. While I know they exist, I don’t personally know any male Office Managers because it is a role that mostly women apply to. It is a job with very little accolades, but very big impact on a day to day basis. It is a job that many men are unwilling to do even though it is such an integral role to an organization.
I do realize that I’m saying this on a good day, a day where men and women are celebrating Goddesses around the world. But I won’t lie, on a normal day as I’m doing menial tasks like restocking Cheez-Its or putting dishes in the dishwasher, I think to myself “I did not graduate from college to do this shit”. Then, on a day I’m out of the office I’ll check my phone and see the numerous messages about how the office is falling apart without me and feel validated.
It doesn’t take a specific gender to be an Office Manager, it takes a specific person to be an Office Manager. One that is patient, empathetic, nurturing, selfless, and resilient amongst a plethora of other things. Things that are associated with being a women. Things that I have to remind myself to NOT be embarrassed about the next time my job calls for me to sweep the front of the building or clean out the refrigerator.
Everyone has their own definition of what it means to be a woman. Just as they have their reasons for acknowledging or not acknowledging International Woman’s Day, and participating or not participating in #adaywithoutawoman, which is – GREAT.
Today is not about equal pay for me. Nor is it about being better than men. After all, my blog is called Girls Are the New Boys, not Girls Are Better Than Boys. It’s about being equally extraordinary, and reminding everyone including ourselves that we are not to be taken for granted – today or any day.