Before any of you start to roll your eyes and dismiss this post as another Shai-box…hear me out.
Life as a business woman often means you’re the only girl in the meeting, in the department, or even in the entire organization. Life as an MBA woman (unfortunately) stays consistent with this standard. I was the only girl on my core team. And now…life as a Gapper…is shaping up to be the same.
Other than the very important diversity and women’s empowerment point, (both are at the very center of who I am), it doesn’t bother me too much to be the lone carrier of the lady flag. My team-bros are super great and see me and treat me like a team mate…a brilliant beautiful crazy intelligent team mate. J
There is another girl on Team Scotts, which is awesome. Not only does it mean there is someone to tell me if there is salad in my teeth, it also means there’s another voice in the discussion. But for social activities and weekends, she often has other plans.
Which means Shai and the fellas. ALL THE TIME!
For example, in London, we met up with the London team. We saw the ladies for about 20 min and then it was a total bro party for the rest of the evening.
It can be a little difficult to be the lone lady at karaoke. I kept selecting Pink, Beyonce, and Miley Cyrus and the boys were not fans. I think Chris almost lost it when I selected the second Taylor Swift song…but that is probably justified.
(FYI, Korean karaoke in france is definitely a good idea.)
This weekend the fellas and I took off on a little adventure to Switzerland. We booked one huge hotel room that was absolutely freaking great.
But what do you do when it’s 4 boys and one girl? You set up some rules. Well one rule…the Fart Zone.
Fortunately, we had a great balcony with a view.
Then Andy and I decided to take our life into our hands and go Canyoning at the recommendation of Jeff D (who is crazy). Canyoning is like cliff jumping, but in a canyon where there are rocks on every side of you and the water comes straight from snow run off and you could basically die at any moment.
It looks like this…
When the driver picked us up, I was really excited because there were two other girls on the bus. But when we got to the loading zone and farmed out into teams, I ended up on a team with about 10 fraternity bros and Andy.
My main concern here was being the one person on the team squealing or nervous or playing into the ‘girly’ stereotype. Also, it gets a little weird when the guide tells everyone to strip down and then suit up. That meant 10 frat boys in their underroos (hello swim suits anybody?) I stealthily found a curtain to duck behind to wriggle into my wetsuit.
To make matters more gender-awkward, we had to pick up our helmets that had names across the front. And when it came to be my turn, the only helmet options I had were Snookie or Party Boy. Obviously you know what I picked…
Right before we took off to drive up the mountain to our insanity, I asked the guide what’s up with me being the only girl? And he said, “think of it this way, you’ve got about 10 extra brothers looking out for you on the mountain.”
One the one hand…BLERG! I don’t need BROTHERS to look out for me. I’m a strong independent woman that can do it myself.
On the other hand…BLERG! It’s on me that I assumed being the only girl meant an automatic adversarial relationship. I took on the role of “other” long before anyone put me there. And it turns the Bro-skies were totally great. So KAPOW to my own gendered assumptions.
If you have a few minutes you want to allocate to me squealing and jumping to my doom, check out this video. http://youtu.be/kI5t6DY97oM
Saturday also happened to be my birthday. And these sweet boys that I’ve spent the last few weeks mothering (they even call me Momma Shai), really knocked it out of the park!
I got to pick the dinner place. THAI! YUMMMY! And then I got to pick the evening activity, which, honestly, all I wanted was a night off to just be alone. The hotel had a really nice bathtub that was calling my birthday name.
But the guys insisted we all go back to the hotel together. Admittedly, I was a little annoyed because bath time did not need to include 4 boys. But when we got into the hotel, the guys had a surprise.
Gateau chocolate! My favorite!
And then, the boys gave me my birthday wish. They left for their un-supervised night of debauchery and I got this:
– Birthdays in Switzerland are awesome
– Being the only girl in a room full of boys struggling to put on wetsuits is awkward
– Just because you’re the only girl in a room full of boys doesn’t mean it will be a bad experience
– We still need more women in business school, in business, and in GAP
The men of Team France know how to do birthdays right (and how to honor the fart zone).