Wonder Woman Visits the Doctor
“It’s the worst with women,” my doctor told me as he unhooked his stethoscope from his neck. Too many women—especially corporate women—put their health on the backburner because they’re “too busy.”
At a recent routine visit to the Mayo Clinic, my doctor and I discussed why women should prioritize their health. Allow me to share the key takeaways:
Women have a tendency to take on everything that is asked of them. That’s why I’ve always been an advocate for women knowing and communicating their boundaries or limits in their personal and professional lives. It’s a tactic to save you from running yourself into the ground. It’s a healthy practice!
When you don’t set boundaries you’re saying by default “I don’t have any,” and that’s a risky game. Take a sprinter, for example. A sprinter always sets a distance before they start. They know exactly how long to sprint before slowing down again. Likewise, it’s normal to have “sprinting” seasons in life where you’re going all-out. But you can’t run like that forever. You need to know where the distance marker titled ENOUGH is. If something is going to overflow your plate, say “no” or “not right now.”
My doctor listened as I recounted story after story of women I’d met who admitted their biggest concern was feeling unsupported and unsafe at work.
At its core, psychological safety means feeling comfortable enough to make yourself vulnerable in front of your colleagues and superiors. This can include voicing your ideas, respectfully disagreeing on a subject, admitting you failed at something or asking to try something you don’t have experience with yet. Can you see how not feeling safe to do any of those things could cause serious stagnation in a company?
Everyone has a role to play in creating a psychologically safe environment. As a corporate woman with global experience, I get this question all the time from men: “What can I do to help women feel safe at work?” My advice is to create an atmosphere you would feel comfortable sending your own sister, wife or daughter into. We all need to speak up when something doesn’t seem right. Encourage empathy. Practice inclusiveness. Value people. More advice about creating a safe workspace can be found in this Forbes article.
Women, do not doubt that you are Wonder Woman! The world would fall into complete chaos without our gender, and we accomplish amazing things every day. But even Wonder Woman has breaks and needs to schedule a checkup at the doctor’s office once in a while!