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Google Memo – Becoming Grandma

All week I’ve been thinking about the letter from the Google software engineer stating that the biological differences between men and women make women unsuitable for tech jobs.

Reedrollover smOne of the things he asserts about women is that they have high “Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.”

Really? Surely this guy has never had to take care of kids, manage a household and balance a career. Talk about stress and women still get the job done!

I spent the last week with my nearly four-month-old granddaughter, Reed. Take it from this grandma, I can already tell that Reed’s smart as a whip and has the determination of 10 google software engineers, as witnessed by her continous efforts to learn to roll from her tummy onto her back.

Unfortunately, here’s the reality and one that I’m willing to take on, there will be people who are going to tell her that she isn’t good enough, smart enough, powerful enough or strong enough to do something. My job is to support her and tell her that she can do it. I’m realistic enough to know that I wasn’t ever going to play tennis at Wimbledon but with a lot of practice I sure as heck played on my college tennis team and learned a lot about determination and team dynamics.

When I started Chesapeake Family one of my dearest friends and mentors told me that he thought parenting publications were just a “fad.” That was 27 years ago.

I have always prided myself and the team at Chesapeake Family for our website and digital expertise. We have incredibly high traffic and have done many innovative things. We’ve been honored with numerous awards for our website. After receiving an award for Best Website at a national conference one of my competitors, a guy, came up to me and said that we should never have won that award. “Women don’t know how to build websites,” he said. I walked away from him.

As hard as us mommas and grandmas are trying to teach our little girls that they have value and that they can be scientists and mathematicians and anything else they want to be, there are still forces out there that are determined to tell them no, and that’s not right.

Fortunately I think that the yes voices are growing louder than the no voices.

Here’s the link to the full Google memo if you haven’t read it yet.

janetwedding SDonna Jefferson is the founder and CEO of Chesapeake Family Life media which she started in 1990. She’s the mother of two grown children and grandma to one.

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