Fighting the status quo has always been hard. As a woman in the workforce, I’ve always struggled to be heard, and for my ideas to be accepted and taken seriously. But as I’ve climbed the corporate ladder, there are a few things I’ve learned: You have to believe in the power of your own ideas, your own self-worth, and that the glass elevator from Willy Wonka is powerful enough to make you CEO of any company you desire.
It’s simply a matter of leaning in and living in a world of pure imagination.
Nobody said breaking barriers was easy. But after a chance meeting with an old man who offered me a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Knowing the musical morality test that laid ahead of me, I kindly asked Mr. Wonka to skip the bullshit and cut straight to that elevator. I think he appreciated my candor. He admitted he had been a mediocre magical candy manufacturer at best, and that he had only really gotten the position because he was a white man who just happened to know the right magical people at the time. I thanked him for his honesty, we shared a knowing look, and off I went into the corporate stratosphere.
Before I knew it, I had broken every glass ceiling, both physical and metaphorical, that was standing in my way. As the shards crashed around me, I could feel the immense power that came from knowing you are one of the few people who could earn hundreds of millions of dollars in stock options that will be taxed at the lowest possible level. I felt the power of knowing people will take you seriously just because you’re wearing an expensive suit and talk loudly. With just one button press, I became the very embodiment of corporate power that I once feared and loathed. Finally, I was shuttling at lightning speed toward being able to buy my own politician someday.
Finally, that first crack in the ceiling would give way for so many other women to do the same.
Now that I’m the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, many people say that I “cheated my way to the top” or “shouldn’t have skipped the morality musical part of the tour”, but didn’t the men of corporate America already do that before me? Why should I be judged for doing the same?
To that I say, when a magical glass elevator shows up, you fucking take it. And you know what? That’s feminism.