I’m a Barbie Girl

My almost 10-year-old daughter and I saw the Barbie movie a couple of weeks ago, and I cried for half the film. What particularly resonated for me was this idea that as a woman, I feel as though I have to do THE MOST to earn the same level of respect that the average man automatically receives. The most agonizing part of it all is feeling like it’s still not enough.

Earlier this week, I attended the SC&RA’s Executive Women’s Roundtable, which is comprised of female leaders in my industry. When it came to the topic of work/life balance and whether that’s possible in our line of work, I gave what I now jokingly refer to as my Barbie speech.

This more or less sums it up:

I do believe I’ve found a work/life balance that, while not always perfect because I still catch myself trying to do it all, makes it clear I put myself first. I make time to be healthy, I stay home with my kids when they need me, I even go on a weeklong retreat every year, and I don’t say sorry for any of it. 

I heard a great quote recently that went something like “20 years from now, the only people who will remember that you worked late are your kids.” That really hit home for me because 10 years ago, when I had my first baby, I was so desperate to prove that motherhood wouldn’t impact my career. I barely took a maternity leave, and I didn’t demand others to respect the maternity leave I did take. And while I try not to have any regrets in life, if I could go back, I would absolutely do it differently because that time was precious and sacred, and I will never, ever get it back. 

I know how hard I work, and I know how efficiently I work. I surround myself with a great team so I don’t need to be the one doing everything all the time. Therefore, the only reason I have to run myself ragged at work is because I’m trying to avoid the judgment of others. That’s ego. The people who have something to say about it – and they do – are jealous and insecure. That’s their issue to work out, not mine. 

Just over 4 years ago, I experienced a handful of unfortunate events at work, some of which were downright tramautizing. I started questioning if this job was worth all the stress and fear and anxiety. Then my dad died and not too long afterwards, we were in a pandemic. I spent close to two years at home with my kids while they weren’t in school, handing off the day-to-day operations of my business. And that time and space was the best thing I could have ever gotten because I realized how much I missed my job. But I also realized that if I was going to do this, I needed to be 100% myself. No more trying to make two mismatched halves fit. 

In this industry, I’m well aware that I’m an eccentric leader with how I do things. I ask my operators to pick our new cranes. I discuss every major decision with my office staff. My leadership style is much more roundtable than hierarchal. I run a company driven by values and not profit, where I won’t lower prices to get a job because I don’t pad prices, but I will write one heck of a thank you note…and “that’s not the way things are done”. But at least if I fail, I fail as me, and then I know it was never going to work out in the end. Because I have to be unapologetically myself, and let me tell you, I’m having so much more fun running my business than I’ve ever had. 

I am…Kenough ;-). And so are you.

2 thoughts on “I’m a Barbie Girl”

  1. Jen, I’m tearing up so hard! This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you so much for sharing such powerful profound medicine with us all! Oh boy did I need to hear it. Thank you for being You(the full magnificent you) in this world. In my book, your medicine(all this you’ve shared) helps us all in ways small and Massive. I thank you! I feel we all do. Major cheers for you and your journey from us all, along with the reminder that it is a privilege to witness and cheer you on! So much love to you, Katy 💗🤗

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top