Swift, as in Taylor. I honestly don’t know that much about Taylor Swift or her music. I know that she’s originally from Pennsylvania, and like to take some Keystone State pride in that. I’m familiar with most of her big hit songs, but don’t know any deep cuts. I guess what I know the most about her is how, to me, I think she seems like a good role model for young women. I would be devastated if it were to be revealed to have been smoke and mirrors this whole time. But, I have faith that she seems genuine and she puts forth a positive message.
For this week, Taylor Swift is my motivation and she should be yours as well.
Tonight at the Grammy Awards show, she accepted the Album of the Year honor with a few words that were a not-so-veiled retort to Kanye West lyrics about her.
…there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work, and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, some day when you get where you’re going, you will look around and know it is you and the people who love you who put you there.
Her words immediately made me think of both women in the tech industry as well as the female library & information science students and new professionals I know. Just this week, results of a study have been circulating in which computer code written by females is considered to be superior — unless the gender of the coder is revealed to be a woman. (As an aside, I’d love to see a female coder use the name George Sand and see who gets the reference.) There is also the article from January of this year in which it was reported that 60% of women working in Silicon Valley experience harassment. Hell, Beyonce received harsh criticism from many over her new song/video “Formation.” The woman danced in heels on a torn-up football field and managed to save herself from falling on stage — and made both look easy. Women can’t catch a break.
But, I digress.
Sadly, Taylor Swift is correct that, yes, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
The Harvard Business Review wrote about a study of how women get less credit for teamwork.
Whether you are a solo or in a group, you will be marginalized if you’re female. But, don’t despair, my Millennial and whatever-comes-after-them friends. Be prepared with this knowledge. Call people out on it. My advice is for you to pick a strong female as your touchstone to get you through those discouraging times you may come across if someone takes credit for your ideas or you are overlooked because of your gender.
Whether it’s Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg, Joan from “Mad Men,” or your mother, have some #SquadGoals of strong women in your arsenal for inspiration … then, go set the world on fire.