There is a great deal of focus in the world today on gender equality.  Women are being given an equal chance to prove themselves, to work their way up the corporate ladder and hold executive leadership positions. If they so choose. Doors that were once shut tight, have now been gracefully and respectfully opened.

But with these new opportunities, comes tremendous pressure. There is a huge stress on women today to lean in and sit at the table. Women can have it all. Women can do it all. But what if you don’t want that? What if, that managerial position or executive position is really not what you want, not what you are striving for, not your life’s dream? What does that make you?  What does that say about you?

I have never been in the Operating Room of a hospital after a critical lifesaving surgery, but I would imagine it is not such a pretty sight. And while the real life saving is done by the very (hopefully) experienced and skilled surgeon, it takes a team of doctors, nurses and staff who perform their individual roles and work together to ensure the most successful outcome. It’s the anesthesiologist who carefully monitors the breathing and vital signs of the patient ensuring they don’t wake up in the middle of surgery, the scrub tech who handles all the sterile equipment, the support technician, the OR nurses, and probably a team of students who are there to observe and learn, but may also assist the team with various tasks. Each person plays a critical role. Each person on the team is valuable. Each person is necessary.

But let’s take one step back even further…

The person who comes in to clean the OR. The person who sterilizes the equipment. The nurse (or volunteer or maybe a person doing community service) that packs and prepares the surgical equipment.  The technician who checks the equipment to ensure it is working perfectly. The cleaner who comes in and cleans up the mess from the previous surgery. Each and every player is vital to the smooth running of the OR, and the saving of lives.

So, if your ambition is to be a top executive or some high power/high profile role, then go for it. Give it everything you have. Attitudes and perceptions have changed, the world is your oyster. But if you are happy where you are and you have no desire to climb the corporate ladder — if your position or role brings you satisfaction, then hold your head up high. Continue to love what you do and do it well. Keep on celebrating who you are and what you bring. It takes a village to raise a child, and a team to make a company successful.

It’s not always about being in a position of power, but rather being powerful in your position.


Martine Alperstein

Project Manager

GSS Americas