When Cynthia Salim, the founder of Citizen's Mark, first asked me to be featured this week, my first thought was, "Yikes. Me?"
She suggested I read what the other women wrote for the #CMOnPoint series. As I read their entries, the entries of these powerful, amazing women, all I could feel was panic. They are international lawyers, non-profit workers, and broadcasters. I represent kids in foster care. How could I compete with them?
It took me longer than I would care to admit to realize that I do not need to compete with them. I am one of them. I am enough.
The CEO of Indian Wells and BNP Paribas tournament director Raymond Moore recently (and rightly) came under fire after making blatantly sexist comments, about how female tennis players "ride on the coat tails of them men. They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport".
Unfortunately, sentiments like these are not limited to sports. As an attorney, I am in a field where there are longstanding traditions where men take the lead. What is almost more disheartening, is that I am in a field where women battle other women.
Long gone are the days that the "mean girl" is limited to high school. I went to law school with her, where she ripped out the pages of the study materials so that I would not have access to it. She was snarky to me while we waited for the same job interview to start. She told me I'd fail at my job once I got it.
Competition is part of daily life, the 2016 version of "survival of the fittest". I will be the first to admit that competition gets me excited. Winning gets my blood moving. I'm in court every day, fighting for my clients. But does this mean I can't celebrate my colleagues' wins as well? Does it diminish my own wins if I acknowledge theirs?
As women, we get enough push back from "The Man." Mr. Moore's sentiments are not just limited to him. He just has a public stage for his vitriol. As women, we need to celebrate our successes - individually and collectively - and provide support for our failures.
I didn't need to feel intimidated to be included with these women. I'm honored that I'm amongst them. I celebrate them. And I know, I am enough.