Friday, October 29, 2010

Cyoot and Osom

My six-year-old daughter Yumi’s list of top ten words that describe herself include:

1. fantastic

2. prfct

3. byootiful

4. osom

5. cyoot

6. icsiting

7. loving

8. cind

9. sopr

10. sopr fun

How “osom” is that? And when do we as women begin to lose this awe for ourselves that Yumi clearly has in spades?

I belive that how we tend to view ourselves and our capabilities is profoundly influenced by our gender – particularly as we grow up. When I was in law school, I saw this first hand in looking at the applications for Supreme Court clerkships, the pinnacle of “just out of law school” achievement. Although about half of all law school students were women, less than 10% of Supreme Court clerks from our law school were women. And when we looked deeper into the application pool, we found that more than 10 times as many men applied as women. Basically, many of my male law school colleagues believed they were brilliant (despite their mediocre grades), and very few women believed they were brilliant (despite their amazing grades).

One of the things I love most about Julep is that we are a group of women helping other women to remember to feel good about themselves in ways both big and small. I especially think about this for my team – who are truly “byootiful” and “sopr fun” and “cind.”