Women around me — removing bias everyday
“S” of SHE stands for “Strong”, “Strategic” and “Smart”.
I found this quote on the wall in a women’s bathroom.
Since I was born, women around me are always removing bias against female. My grandma, mom, piano professor, and my sister. I have never talked about my sister to people because we don’t talk to each other. I am ok to have conversation with anyone in front of me, but I would get very nervous if I need to talk with my sister.
Programmer | Manga Artist | Musician | Physicist
would be titles of my sister.
She is six years older than me. She was always taller than me, better at drawing arts and playing the piano.
I was always trying to imitate what she did — drawing (she was drawing, I was doodling), and playing the piano (she had all techniques, I was striking some keys) — she was always better than me, so my habit became making effort to reach her level.
She is a genius, I think.
She scored 120 points on her physics exam out of 100 points. The physics professor was amazed how she answered, and gave her extra points.
I remember she was selling Manga when she was in high school, and several fans sent her “fan letters”. Her drawing was brilliant, but she knew she wasn’t good at creating stories from scratch, so she quit drawing as soon as she graduated from high school, and choose to be a programmer.
When she was a kid, my mom wanted her to be a “girly” girl and brought her to ballet school. My sister was also good at ballet, but didn’t like to make up and quit when she got tired of wearing heavy makeup as a ballet dancer.
She likes reptiles.
She likes physics.
She likes coding.
She is a unique person.
Nowadays we talk about STEM or women who code, but not many women were into these areas 15 years ago.
Seeing my own sister, I never thought women were less capable of coding and studying physics. She goes her own way.
One day my mom was worried about her speciality (or uniqueness per se), and they went to see a fortune-teller. The fortune-teller told them
“the traits of this girl is like… Nobunaga Oda”, known as one of the craziest samurai in the entire Japanese history.
Well… did you ever meet him?
Boss | CEO | Buddist
are titles of my grandma. She’d been leading her family business since she was 16 years old as the head of company. I knew you were the boss!
Mastermind | Breadwinner | Entrepreneur
are titles of my mom. I know you are a person who takes a back seat to my dad, but you’re the mastermind.
Strict | Strong | Poker Face
are titles of my piano professor. Nobody noticed that you had cancer all over your body for over 10 years. Many people say “I work to death!” but you actually did. The strongest and the strictest woman passed away in her 30s.
No Barbie Doll | No Pink Dress | Iron Man
are my traits. My nickname was Iron Man in high school because I was doing a training more than anybody else.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. — The Crazy Ones / Apple
Yes, that’s us. We are the misfits in gender bias.
Working with smart women in my team
Now I found all the smart talents that we invited to our team are some of the smartest women around me.
“Women are emotional” — is what people often say, but they are straightforward and direct as professionals in their fields. I like how they give me professional advices and don’t hesitate to say NO to my opinions.
I care about result, and our main focus is how we can output the best result within the given resource because we are a startup, and we work for startups.
Launching a new project does not have any detailed training materials to distribute (plus I am bad at managing people), so they are asked to get what is needed at the current stage, think which role to take, flexibly adjust their workflow, and convince the others to move the new project forward.
When I asked them to join our team, I only say “I know you are much better at doing XXXXX than me, so please lead it.”
Everyday I am amazed how they work and output beyond what I expect, and get what I need from the limited information that I share.
Just hoping — they get my sincere appreciation to them!