WRONG

Twisting and turning
Your feelings are burning
You’re breaking the girl
(She meant you no harm) / Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Dear hearts, I’ve really held my tongue debating if I should write what I’m about to write. Thanks to the not-so-fine-non-gentleman @Uber, I strongly feel I must.

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As a woman who has worked in male-dominated industries my entire professional career, which include finance, football and high-tech, you wouldn’t assume or guess it upon first looking at me. I dress and look very feminine, hence why I chose the name of this blog to reflect my style, writing about the two things I adore, football and scotch whisky.

I prefer skirts and dresses and 3-4″ heels on a daily basis. I do not feel comfortable in dress pants or flats. I’m also already tall, which can add a factor of unfortunate intimidation in some cases.

I’ve learned how to put people at ease, since I do not fit into a box of what they feel I should-be, since this is who I am.

Why am I explaining this? I have been the only woman at countless meetings, dinners, and events. I’ve hardly thought twice about it. I have not wanted to be treated any differently than the men around me. I worked hard for my respective positions, and my perception is, there is no difference between us.

We are witnessing social injustice toward women across football programs and Silicon Valley companies, and I feel I need to stand up and say something on behalf of my gender, and as a woman who has been employed in both sectors.

Be warned, I’m about to channel my inner 90’s Courtney Love. 

First, I see a coward in Travis Kalanik CEO of Uber, who finds NOW is the time he needs to make changes, including gathering all the female engineers within his organization to share with them, he can sympathize.

I nearly threw up.

Hey Trav, do you know what it’s like to have a man unexpectedly reach up your skirt and feel you up or slap your a**?

Hey Trav, do you know what it’s like to get stared down like a piece of meat from an co-worker you want NO part of, and are terrified to walk to your car parked in the underground garage when you wrap up your work at 9 PM?

Trav I’m sure you know what it’s like to report said employee to HR, only for them to look you up and down and say, well you are an attractive woman., and this is only his first offense. 

Maybe you know exactly what it’s like to work your a** off and be told, we appreciate your efforts but that guy over there, who isn’t nearly as qualified as you are honey, feel he’s a better fit. Later to discover he has a family, that’s why he’s a better fit. 

Travis you definitely know what it’s like to have a baby and return from maternity leave only to find your position suddenly no longer necessary, or told if you have kids, climbing back to your position will be nearly impossible.  

Travis I’m sure you can sympathize what it feels like to be a woman… mti5mdaymjixndm3mji5ntm0

Next, The University of Oklahoma, including and not limited to HC Bob Stoops (whom I strongly believe should still be fired for allowing that running back on his team receive a slap on the wrist for breaking a woman), is also part of this problem.

One NFL GM and team will believe they can change, what they view as a little misfortune, and make him into a good-guy. I’m suppressing one hell of a laugh. Gents, habits are not formed overnight. You think this is a one-time incident? Think again.

Lastly, Baylor… is just warming up. It’s officially Wa-Co for women in Waco, including of all people within their athletic department, this female non-leader, women’s basketball HC, Kim Mulkey and her comments last week.

Come on Kim, I thought these things were done with no tears? Isn’t that the game played, or what you tell your players?

Let me be absolutely clear here, I love and adore men. I am not a I’m-a-woman-here-me-roar-type. I do not believe one gender is superior to the other. WE need each OTHER.

I have had the privilege to work with astounding, humble and talented people. I’ve also worked with arrogant, egomaniacal people who believe the world and everyone in it owes them something. That’s just life.

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I (speaking for myself) do not want to be treated any differently than my male-counterparts. All I ask is for the same opportunities as them.

As Diane von Furstenberg said in her remarks, the night her exhibit Journey of a Dress opened at LACMA, I’ve always wanted to live a man’s world in a woman’s body. 

I want to emphasize here dear hearts, I’m not looking to be right. I want us to get it right. These are issues the president of our country has been accused of committing, which makes my stomach sink.

We are failing here and it’s shameful.

Let’s make a change and stand up for others, while rocking out to Hole’s Live Through This, as we live through this.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

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A little topic is receiving a lot of fingering and tweet-service via Twitter today: young writers, unpaid internships and going after what you want. Let me share with you a little secret:

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE DEAR HEARTS

I’m a believer in a little tough love. We know deep inside it’s the best kind.

football-closeupIwanted to work for my college’s football team. I wanted to be in charge of decisions and be respected. I didn’t know what role that would be in college. I knew the position I wanted to hold for pro team. Amy Trask, former Raiders CEO held a beacon of light, that if she could do it, I could do it too.

I began working as an intern for my mentor, Mr Hendrix and no is first name is not Jimi, in the athletics department. He was a former four-year starting point guard for our alma mater, leading our team to the Sweet 16 decades ago. At 5’10” he was not built to play in the NBA. He instead played six seasons as a corner in the NFL. He never played a down of football outside of high school. As he told me once, he didn’t like the feeling of being hit. One of those teams he played for, the Dallas Cowboys during their prime.

When I walked into his office I had no clue who he is. The accomplishments he displayed, his two degrees prominently  placed on top of a cabinet and several photos of his family surround his desk. Modesty is a virtue.

He gave me good advice, and the realities of playing in the NFL.

See, I was raised in a house where football wasn’t turned on every Saturday or Sunday. No my father wasn’t an armchair QB. I had to pull a QB sneak to peek at games.

Football is revered in my small-town community. A national football power at the time, was only 45 minutes away. Football brought people in my community together. The game fascinated me, and so my obsession began.

img_4295While interning unpaid for Mr Hendrix, I worked 1-2 additional jobs to pay my rent and expenses. I was a first generation college grad. A small-town girl who was feeling her away around a system that was savage. Read: it wasn’t easy.

Beverly Hillbilly’s exist. I’m living proof.

I was promoted to work for my college football team, as the Assistant Director of Football Operations for 4 seasons following my internship. I was paid, but if I told you what it was, you would think I was crazy to do what I did, for as long as I did. Most days I loved it, some days I didn’t. That’s life dear hearts.

I didn’t know it then, my last day working in football was NLI signing day February 3, 2010. I would work even harder to gain a similar position at USC. After years of making connections, and acceptance into the Marshall School of Business to pursue my MBA, I was told during my interview I was overqualified.

That’s what happens when you chase other dreams, like joining a tech startup that IPO’d. Another story for anther day… image

Realize all you have is yourself. Know your worth and be willing prove it. Go. Hard.

Cheers,

x|o FFF