This is for the women who deal with the fear that causes them to doubt themselves, are caught between standing up for themselves and wanting to be liked as leaders, and/or struggle with the double bind that comes with being a female executive in the hospitality industry. All of it. Listen to me.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I went to a panel discussion yesterday hosted by She Said as part of the NYU conference. I had no idea what to expect, but one of my new female entrepreneur friends was on the panel and invited me. Of course, I said yes. #womesupportingwomen

The topics I mentioned above were my main takeaways from the panel and the conversations before and after.

I feel sad when I hear young women, early in their career bring these topics up because their voice is slightly shaky and filled with uncertainty.

I feel angry when I hear women who are more established in their career do the same.

I understand why it happens.

They feel alone and isolated.
They don’t want to seem weak.
They don’t want to come off as being overly emotional.
They don’t want to be viewed as too pushy, aggressive, demanding.
They don’t quite know how to articulate their fears, so they stay silent.
They have been led to believe that’s how it’s always been, sooo that’s how it shall remain…

To the ladies who are just starting out: ask for help, get a mentor, create your own support network, understand your VALUE.

To the ladies who are more established: mentor someone and share your experience, you’ll hear yourself talk about these topics and realize they are fear based and you’ve accomplished more than you’re giving yourself credit for. If you can’t see it for yourself, the look on your mentee’s face will confirm what you know deep down.

Oh and btw, many of my clients are men. They deal with the same shit it’s packaged a little differently.

I’m on a mission to normalize these conversations so they become part of our everyday dialogue instead of an uber secret, no videoing allowed type panel. Who’s with me?!

(To be clear, I understand the need for the secrecy in yesterday’s discussion—to ensure everyone feels comfortable sharing their most vulnerable questions and career challenges)

We stand to gain far more by bringing awareness to these conversations and when it’s appropriate, including men. If we have a hard time articulating some of these things how can we possibly expect men to support us? And let me be clear, we need their support.

Let’s figure this out together. I want to hear from you either in the comments or email me: marlene@marleneleslie.com.

Have you dealt with any of these issues? How did you overcome them? Are you in the thick of it? How are you coping?