Trying to "lean in"

I've never been one to consider myself a "feminist."

I mean, I've dabbled. But I'm not one of those overly vocal keyboard warriors blasting their story on Facebook, or a hippie/bra burning/paint throwing activist spending every weekend pushing a cause. 

But after reading Sheryl's book, I reckon I might be. 

For those of you who don't know, by day I am a Social Media Manager for a government organisation. 

Sheryl and I have some commonalities - both have our day jobs because of Facebook. She is obviously a lot higher up then me; being the COO and all, but I found myself nodding to the book when reading her words. She was speaking to me. But I don't think it's because we both work with Facebook. 

She was sooo good and what she did, that this often alienated her. I felt sorry that she had to do it all alone. But, she didn't just mope and accept the situation. She encouraged others to be better.

One of the first stories she tells us happened in a New York conference room. She had been the Chief operating officer of Facebook for two years, and she was leading a team presentation to a private equity firm. 

After two hours, there was a break in the presentation. As what should be a normal occurrence, Sheryl asked where the ladies' bathroom was. This is where my jaw literally dropped. The firm's senior partner turned around and just stared blankly. Stumped by the question, he said he didn't know where it was.

"Am I the only woman to have pitched a deal here in an entire year?" Sheryl asked.

"I think so," the client replied, adding, "or maybe you're the only one who had to use the bathroom."

As I read this, I thought to myself... seriously

A basic human necessity.

This is what I mean by alienated. She was so good at what she does, that it made her an industry leader. But a leader who was navigating it alone.  

I mentioned that I felt a few commonalities with Sheryl as I was turning the pages. Right now, I'm in a job where I am leading change. Or, more accurately, forcing change. At least that's how it feels sometimes. 

I'm pretty sure my job didn't exist when I finished high school. Because it is so new, people are stuck in their old ways. So, I find myself being a bit of a BDM (Business Development Manager) and "selling" people to use the new channels, but simultaneously convincing people (that think they know how to do my job) that they're just not doing it right.

To be honest it's exhausting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not failing. But it's exhausting because it requires you to be on the ball all the time.

Maybe it's determination, or maybe stubbornness, but I never saw quitting as an option. I told myself I was in this role for the long haul. So my question to you is - how do you stay motivated when there's a wall you slam into every where you turn?

Written by Debbie Hatumale from