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In my early career as a banker, I learned that my cultural upbringing was hindering my career.  I was part of a large family, and my father definitely had an affinity to what the boys could do versus what the girls could do.  This was evident also in the Christmas presents he bought the girls: a sewing machine, a typewriter, while the boys got bikes, and swords and fun things.  As I began my career in corporate America, I naturally brought this quiet, taking orders from men mentality to the workplace.  I didn’t think I was as smart as they were, and then later I even thought that I wasn’t as smart as those other women who didn’t look like me.  It wasn’t until one day, after being in an all day meeting with my boss, and his boss, and a vendor, that I learned that my holding back was going to be detrimental to my career.  My boss’ s boss took me into her office that evening and blasted me, she said things like, “Why were you in that meeting; since you didn’t say a word”, and “You added no value to the meeting.”  I have to tell you I was mad and horrified, and my initial thoughts were “How dare she, who does she think she is!.”  I could tell her what each person said that day in the meeting, I was absorbing the information shared that day, but that wasn’t enough.  I vowed to myself to speak up at every meeting I attend and that has served me well.  What are you waiting for?speak-up

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