Paving the Way for Business World “Firsts”


Life is full of firsts. Every day someone tries something new, whether it be riding a bike, trying a new food, or running for office and winning, etc. Life surrounds us with so many opportunities, yet we often can never fully grasp what we have at our disposal. As women, we are told from an early age that although men and women are created equally, we as women are not treated equally. From the start, we subconsciously find ourselves as inferior to males, particularly in the work force. Although we are free to study and become whom we want, we are not guaranteed equal pay or equal upward mobility. No one is guaranteed anything, but women have less security and stability when it comes to jobs. All of this sounds discouraging, but what we, as women are starting to realize is that there is a first for everything.

We are surrounded by women such as Oprah, Indra Nooyi, and Sheryl Sandberg; they had a goal, they had a dream, and they stopped at nothing to ensure that they were the best and achieved what was thought to be unachievable for women, success. For example, Christine Lagarde was announced as the first Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund in July 2011, a position historically held by men. Lagarde is seen as a role model for women, a woman who can balance a strict working life, yet also be a mother of two. Lagarde knew that this was the ultimate challenge for any woman, but that did not stop her. Perseverance and a will to become better and stronger paved the way for her “firsts” in the business world and continues to encourage women to be strong-minded and to stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Lagarde has created an image for herself that she is proud of and something she wishes to uphold, “But it is like that old idea of Sartre, that you are what other people see you as. It is a responsibility[1].”

Genoviva Sowemimo-Coker

Boston College


Related Links:

[1] Christine Lagarde

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