As we begin thinking about the fall… I know, hold on to the last week of summer! And still, it is time to look to the next month. And 7 years ago, the fall saw me entering the second half of my Master’s work on Gender Equity and the Engineering Workplace. Beyond feeling ‘wow, it’s been that long?!?’ I remember hearing myself present my research, and watching the faces in the audience as they heard the information for the first time.
One of the key concepts that stood out for me, and them, was the notion that the % of a behaviour that the people within the engineering profession accept, is the % that will never change. For example, if you accept 37% of a situation as undesirable, than 37% of that situation will remain undesirable. Therefore, changing the dynamics or structure of a given situation becomes impossible. Thinking back, no wonder I was hitting glass ceilings!
Reflecting on how 2019 has gone so far, I can recognize situations where I simply accepted what was in front of me, instead of expecting a better, more desired outcome. And yes, the situations where I expected more stand out like the shining beacon of light, that they are.
However, it’s those moments of just accepting that become our growth points for greatness. In those moment, by essentially letting others, and myself, off the hook and just accepting the situation, we said no to stretching into bigger and better versions of ourselves. By only accepting, we stay within our comfort zone, and as my mentor Dr. Kim Redman is always reminding us – Comfort and Growth don’t hang out at the bar together… And every time you accept something as “the way things are done” you down the possibility for change.
For myself, I had accepted that evolving STEM fields into inclusive, equitable professions would be hard, difficult, impossible. No longer. I now know that change is possible, and that we can even quantify the process of change. We know HOW to guarantee that it happens.
Now I’m curious – what have you been accepting, when you should be expecting, instead? And how can you flip that around and expect more from the rest of your 2019???
“Expect, Don’t Accept.” ~ An Uncomplicated Life, Paul Daugherty
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Shannon is also honoured to be the Branch Director for HHW Central Toronto, Ontario (where she runs the Secrets of Stress Success event 😊)
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