Last week one of my friends made the huge decision and left the firm for greener pasture. She’d been at the firm for 7 years and though vocal about her issues to management she, like many other saw no evidence of any substantial change. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by other women in my firm (myself included). So when she hit me up to meet in our cozy enclave and let me know she was leaving, I was excited for her and hopeful that this would be the opportunity to get our concerns out. We spent so much time discussing the key points to the changes, and fine tuned them to the point that only a blind man couldn’t see what was wrong.
On the day she resigned I waited and waited to hear what the reaction was from her exit interview. But I heard nothing. After the holiday we spoke and to my dismay nothing had come of it because she wasn’t even offered the exit interview, INSANITY!!! Though she was able to speak to two levels of management while resigning and give her perspective about the short comings regarding women, the ears that should have heard this message were not present (and the HR director was uninterested).
Is it too much to think that a place that
falsely prides itself as “US first” would be concerned with why the women are leaving in massive numbers? Isn’t it a worthy exercise in preserving the legacy to address the glass ceiling that didn’t exist a few short years ago? What has changed and why?
This all brought me back to how I felt before returning from maternity leave. First was the Warren Buffet interview where he advocated for girls education and declared that betting on women was the key to America’s success. This was a great thing! Around that same time the Lean In movement began picking up steam and it seemed like women in corporate America were speaking up for what was right and needed to be changed. For a week I watched as Mika Brzenzinski and other professional women held round table discussions that centered around women closing ranks, making the demands for equality and reach back to help others. Part of me was skeptical (mainly because no women of color were present) but it seemed that a sisterhood of sorts was finally showing up.
Then I returned to work and that book was in the hands of the WRONG people. The women that have never leaned in for anyone other than themselves, even when given the opportunity to speak up. These women that have sat by and co-signed the injustices their peers faced because of race, motherhood, difference of opinion and various other atrocities. It was too much to take in. My first few months left me torn and wondering were we trying to be better, but as time went on I knew we were not. My requests for more access, more interaction with groups fell on deaf ears and when I went to a more seasoned member of my team ALL HELL broke loose. So clearly this wasn’t the space for opinion. So with a heavy heart I began the search for my exodus.
With our HR dept primarily run by women (though head by a man) I would think accusation of
- No upward mobility for a certain type of women (Married w/children, Women of color)
- Disregard for experience.
- Lack of women in leadership roles (there are very few female MD’s and only one woman on the Exec.Board)
- Retaliation by management towards women that speak up and against the status quo.
Would be addressed… Though I suspect the “US” first has more to do with the men and the bottom line than fostering the real US FIRST that once existed here.