This week I attended a Women in Banking conference in Indiana and was reminded of this not -so-fun-fact – most women will not apply for the next level position unless they are 100% qualified.
It had me reflecting back to this summer when we had to push for our daughter to be allowed to take honors Geometry.
I considered the belief she had in her abilities, even as she knew she had done poorly on the placement test, and the trust she had in her past teachers who had recommended her in the first place.
The confidence she showed when she had to go against the advice of authority figures, who advocated for a different, easier, path.
And the strength she had when asked to sign a document acknowledging that it was highly likely she was going to fail. And be miserable.
With the grades from the first term now in the books, I am thrilled to say that she did great, receiving an A.
It was not easy. At the beginning of the term, she struggled with the curriculum, and the workload. She failed her first test. And she had to confess to her teacher that there were some things she just had not learned the year before.
But she asked for, and received, help. She learned to breathe deep and to manage her work. She didn’t let singular failures throw her and instead remained focused on the big picture (which included the knowledge that her lowest grade would be dropped).
Early in the semester, during a routine meeting with her teacher, we talked about the gaps in her knowledge. Even knowing what our girl didn’t know, her teacher reassured me she was in the right place.
I wonder if the teacher realizes how close she was to receiving a bear hug.
I know it could have gone the other way, and still could. I know she could have crashed and burned, and still could.
But at the conference, as I reflected upon the facts about women and promotion, I found myself hoping that our daughter would look back at that moment this summer when she made a decision knowing she could fail.
And instead, she flew.