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The 5 Most Ridiculous Things We Say To Women Who Work

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I started my own fashion brand, Ivanka Trump, to address the needs of the modern professional woman. She is often misrepresented in pop culture and the media (a recent advertisement I saw featured a woman in a black pantsuit, blown up to the scale of the buildings that surrounded her, as she straddles Park Avenue) and by fashion designers (you have the choice of purchasing either a luxury suit that costs a full paycheck or an ill-fitting skirt set in terrible colors).
Designed by Sydney Hass.
Women today are incredibly multidimensional. We don't look, dress, or think uniformly. We're building careers, yes, but we're also pursuing a multitude of passions outside the office and making them priorities. I'm the executive vice president of development and acquisitions at the Trump Organization and the founder of Ivanka Trump, the brand. But, I'm also a mother, a wife, an aspiring runner, and an improving (!) golfer.
A few months ago, I launched an initiative on my website called #WomenWhoWork. It's an effort to celebrate the many different ways in which women work — and to visually redefine, and break stereotypes around, what it looks like to be a working woman today. Read on for five of my (least) favorite stereotypes about working women.
1. Professional women are all the same, and stay-at-home moms aren't "working" women.
The words "working woman" shouldn't evoke an image of a female in a pinstriped pantsuit. Women represent half the population, and obviously that means that work looks different to each of us. All women are working hard, regardless of their job titles. I have two small children, and I know that I am more exhausted on a Monday morning after a weekend at home than I am on a Friday afternoon after a long, hard week in the office. It's 2015. It's time to recognize each other as individuals with distinct values and aspirations and not make broad assumptions based on gender. We are all trying to be the architect of the lives we want to live.
2. You can't have it all.
Every time I'm interviewed, I'm asked, "How do you balance it all?" My answer never changes: I don't, and I don't try to. In my mother's generation, life was strictly compartmentalized: There was work and there was home. Women were less inclined to talk about their kids in the office for fear of undermining their credibility and commitment. Today, the structures of society are less rigid. We are fortunate to live in the digital age — for me, it means that I can call to check on my daughter between meetings during the day, and respond to emails from home at 11 p.m. because I was able to leave the office in time to put my children to bed and make dinner with my husband. It's less about balancing a "work life" and a "home life" and more about creating one rich, full life that's tailored to my specific goals and priorities.

3. Businesswomen with kids are either subpar parents or not fully committed to their careers.
Having children has made me focused and efficient — both in the office and at home — in a way that I never realized was possible, pre-kids. I find my work very fulfilling. To be able to do something I love and make an impact in the world is incredibly gratifying. It makes me a better woman, and that makes me a better mother. I hope that my passion inspires my children and teaches them, by example, the value of hard work. Of course, it's difficult to leave them in the morning, but I am extremely productive during the day because I know I want to get home and be fully engaged during our time together.

4. Women are emotional.
The idea that women are overly sensitive and need to be handled delicately because we're the weaker sex is archaic and offensive. I make smart, rational decisions. I'm passionate, yes, but I know plenty of men who are far more emotional than I am.


5. We are defined solely by our jobs

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I am ambitious and passionate about my career, like many of the women I know. But, I'm not solely defined by my work. Women's professional titles are only one part of the story, which is why I'm asking women around the world to join this conversation by posting their "extended job titles" with the hashtag #WomenWhoWork.
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