Saying last night was interesting is an understatement. These results got me feeling all sorts of feels.
Since I was little, I had always had an interest in the business world. My dad would be reading the Wall Street Journal, and every morning over a bowl of cereal (that my 3-year-old self insisted on climbing up on the counter, getting the cereal box and milk out, and making my own bowl of Life cereal), I would ask him how my stocks were doing. He would point to the “C” and the “K” section (my real name is Catherine, I go by Katie for those of you who are like “C”?) and tell me that my stocks were up. I thought I would be able to retire by high school. I was like 3, give me a break. I thought I was a low-key millionaire; I didn’t know better.
Fast-Forward to 2010, I’m in my senior year of high school and it is time to apply for college. I knew right away that I wanted to do some sort of business. I’ve always leaned towards finance, thanks to my dad. My dad would cut out articles from the newspapers for me to read, because at this point in time I didn’t get up early enough to read the paper with him. These articles would be about how this is an emerging and exciting time for women in the world of business. In the application process, there comes the time to write your essay. I remember frequently seeing the prompt “Why do you want to go into business?”. My answer? Because I didn’t want to be another Susie homemaker, I didn’t want to be another June Cleaver. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There isn’t, we are all made up differently. For me though? That’s what inspired me to go into business. We all have our different strengths, weaknesses, inspirations, etc. That was the entire basis of my essay. Yes, I have a food blog, yes I absolutely LOVE to cook, cook for my friends, host parties, I love love love it. However, I am much more than that, and you’ll see that below.
Forward to February 2016. A month before the Illinois primary, and the somewhat-beginning of the Presidential race. I am almost a year out of college, with a finance degree from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Business. I am looking for a new job, and go to a bank to interview. I would be doing financial analysis for deals the bank brings through. Through the 4 years in college, the amount of women in the world of business seemed to grow exponentially. Not at this small bank, though. I would be the only female financial analyst. Which was fine, kind of cool if you ask me. I would be paving the way for future women in this company. I’m sitting in the interview room with the first interviewer, a guy, and he asks me “so, how are you working with men?”. I’m sorry… WHAT. WHO ASKS THAT. Naturally, I say “I’m fine. How are you working with females?” I stopped him in his tracks. He stuttered, clearly shocked, and managed to get out “No no, I’m good I’m good”. I’m sorry, did you expect me to answer that as if I wouldn’t expect a reciprocal answer from you? Who in the right mind asks that. So whatever, I’m offended and in disbelief that someone would think that’s okay to ask. But, you know, it’s only ONE person, and he was just another financial analyst. There’s no way that him asking that could give off a chauvinistic vibe for the whole company. Then, the president of the bank comes in. We are talking hours, how the hours are long, and how many times, you will see the men come into work in their casual/comfy clothes, and then once trading hours start, they change into their suits they keep in closets around the office. What does the PRESIDENT OF THE BANK say next? “You know; you can obviously feel free to do the same. But, I’m not really sure what women wear.” My jaw visibly drops for a second, and I respond, “women wear suits too.” I cut the interview short and leave there shaking and pissed off. The audacity.
Currently, I am truly the happiest I have ever been. I am a financial analyst for a media agency in Chicago. I am a food blogger. I am the founder of a collective group aimed to bring together small, local Chicago companies with local Chicago influencers through events and gatherings. I am busy, to say the least. I am a daughter, a friend, a cousin, a family member. I am a feminist, that I am.
Do I think men are evil? That men ruin the world? Absolutely not. I think there are just straight up evil people in this world. Men, women of all races, backgrounds and colors. Some people are just evil. As for men? I am your equal, women are your equal. I can only hope that this election and these next years to come in America, we can pull together to continue to move forward and better our country. Exercise your right to vote not only in the Presidential elections, but in your statewide and local elections. Come together to fight for equality, women’s rights, and much, much more.
Men wear suits. Women wear suits.