A few weeks ago, I was scrolling social media under the guise of “work” and thought seriously about the content I was consuming. Is this content feeding my brain? No. Is this content fueling my soul? No. Is this content highlighting good in the world? No. I decided to be more purposeful in sharing positive content. Proud of my decision, I patted myself on the back and continued to read the latest nonsense about the United States President and his Twitter spew. Oh my.
Fast forward to October 26th and I’m at the Women Who Lead Conference in Pittsburgh. Becky Stapleton, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer at S&T Bank, kicked off the conference and gave specific examples for how we can support and promote other women in the workplace. The ways to elevate women are not difficult and include supporting women to speak up in meetings, recognizing other women, helping women network and passing along names of great women to others. Another way she shared to elevate women is to assume when you meet a woman that she is the leader or in a higher position. For example, some years ago I was scheduled to give a technical presentation to a group of high profile visitors. I was one of two women in the room and somewhat younger than my other female colleague. One of the visitors asked me if I had arranged for coffee, and if not, he’d like for me to get a cup for him, black no cream or sugar. My good Southern girl tendencies kicked in and I almost went to find that coffee. I paused, realized his assumption about my role, and simply said, “my administrative assistant is excellent and I’m sure she’s arranged for coffee.” I was then introduced as Dr. Crystal Morrison and delivered a badass technical presentation. When the coffee arrived, I openly praised my admin for her attention to detail and the great job she did making all the arrangements for the meeting. Even though I may have been in a “higher” position than my admin, her contributions were incredibly important, valued and made our meeting run smoothly. The visitor got his cup of black coffee but I don’t think he recognized I wanted to pour it in his lap.
Fast forward to yesterday, October 30th and I’m smacked in the face with the end of yet another month that seemed to pass by in a flash. Beating myself up over missed targets and open action items, I added to my self-induced drama by thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I was about to enter full-on “bring me a brown paper bag” hyperventilation, the last remnants of my sanity kicked in and reminded me to be thankful and practice gratitude. Thank you sanity remnants. The highs and lows of the past year played out on the stage of my overactive mind. I tried to focus on all the amazing people I’ve met on my entrepreneurial journey to eliminate garbage leadership and toxic culture in the tech world. I flashed back to my vow to be purposeful in sharing positive content. I remembered Beck Stapleton’s call to action to elevate women. And then I had an idea. #EverRiseWomen2019 was born.
What is #EverRiseWomen2019? It’s a campaign dedicated to sharing powerful, diverse examples of women in the technical world. These women are not on magazine covers, viewed as icons, or frequently highlighted… not yet, anyway. These are women who are in the trenches everyday and deserve to be celebrated. Most have technical backgrounds. Some do not. They are doing amazing work in various fields from manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, materials, software development, medical research and consulting (just to name a few). I’m honored that they are in my network and I want to elevate them in a small way. So everyday in November and December, EverRise will share the LinkedIn profile of an amazing woman. That’s 61 women around the world shared over 61 days for #EverRiseWomen2019.
I’m so stinking excited to share these women that I’ve totally forgotten about my self-induced, year-end drama. Thank you sanity remnants. Bring on the women!
“If you invest in a girl or a woman, you are investing in everybody else.“ –Melinda Gates