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  • @SavvyMrsWright

Just Because I don't have Kids, Doesn't Mean...(read the photo)

Recently, my company announced their annual Chairman's Award winners for 2016 at each office around the country. The meetings were small and informal, but it was a great way to recognize the winning associates. This year, I was proudly one of the 143 Silver winners for the Acosta value of Balance. As our VP of HR was reading the summary of my nomination for the work I do for Network of Executive Women, my office's culture team, and other volunteer opportunities, someone boldly stated, "She can only do all this because she doesn't have kids!" {WHOA-- She said What?!} Yeah-- that!

I smiled, because at the moment I didn't have a response. I couldn't understand why someone would make this statement in the middle of someone else getting recognition (in a room full of people). I also couldn't understand why she thought the fact that I don't have kids of my own (I have a 16 year old step son), allowed me to do more with my time. I ignored it, but a few people could tell it bothered me, and the more I thought about it-- IT DID! I packed my stuff and left for the day because I felt myself getting angry. I called my husband, in tears, to explain what just happened. He told me to not let them see me cry (he's a football coach), that I deserve this, and that he was proud of me. I calmed down and starting writing an email. Before I knew it, the email was 3 paragraphs long and I was ranting about how unprofessional and insensitive her statements were. I deleted the email, and at that moment I decided to take time to be proud of my accomplishments and not let anyone's ignorance diminish my award.

Recently, I received the award certificate in the mail. I posted it on social media, but I decided to share the full story on my Facebook page. People started to comment positive affirmations and someone made the statement, "She would not have said that if you were a guy."

"If I were male, and had received the same recognition, it would not have crossed anyone's mind "He can only do all those things because He doesn't have kids."

Often times people unknowingly (but possibly intentionally) say things that take away from other accomplishments. A few of my good friends, have had the same things happen to them within their sales roles. When they exceed their quotas, people make statements like "Her numbers must have been low this year." or "She must have lots of help to reach those goals," when the fact of the matter is, they work hard daily to make sure they stay on top!

It's not hard to celebrate other's success, but for many people, they justify the achievements of others by saying "they don't deserve it," "they only got the award because of who they know," or by rationalizing with a reason they are able to do the things they do (as if they had help or more than 24 hours in a day).

Today, I'm proud of myself for several reasons. All of my hard work and accomplishments this year, have paid off. I'm proud that I was able to keep my big mouth shut when the offensive comments were being made during the award presentation. But most importantly, I'm proud to share my voice to improve awareness of bias', women's equality, diversity, inclusion, and advocating for other women.

The fact that I don't have kids, doesn't give me any more than 24 hours in the day. It doesn't give me more resources to make things happen, and it's definitely not the reason I am able to do everything I do. I just have to remember that people are always going to have something to say when they don't see your vision, your goals, your passion, and when they are sitting on the sidelines thinking they know everything you do. Support others, celebrate accomplishments, and don't be that person to negatively justify others' recognition because you're not doing the same thing. Learn to genuinely be happy for others because this can help you to happy with yourself!

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