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Let’s Be Difficult Together

Written By: Lauren Howard

“If you’re fine with it, I’m fine.“

I muttered the words to my male colleague after an interview for someone I knew wasn’t a fit.

I also knew about the narrative that was brewing at the top and how disagreeing with their pick would read. I was the only female on the leadership team, and the word had been thrown around like a grenade more than few times.


If you don’t agree, you’re difficult. If you see something they don’t, you’re difficult. If you dare to have an independent thought as a woman in the workplace, you’re difficult. If you don’t just “go with the flow” of what the menfolk want, you’re difficult.

So I stopped speaking up. I let them make the bad decision with their company and their money. I shut myself up because it was the only self-preservation I could muster at the time.

I shrunk to fit.

The blowback was quick and severe. The cultural damage was basically irreparable. It was the wrong hire, and it affected the entire company.

Talk about difficult, amirite?

I made myself so small running from that word.

Not anymore.

Fine, I’m difficult.

Let’s be difficult together.

Because we’re not difficult. We’re strong, independent, empowered, inspired, larger-than-life, invaluable, limitless and so many other things that threaten existing power structures that the only tools they have are to make us feel that those things are bad in hopes that we, just, aren't those things.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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