Bringing my real self to work

The struggle to be real

For the past 5 year’s I have been working within a corporate structure that makes it difficult to really be myself. Ironically, I was hired on the strength of my educational qualifications and experience, but once I got inside the fence it felt as if this was valued for status more than substance.

For the first couple of years, my internalised sexism led me to feel that I was the barrier- not loud enough, not stroppy enough, not tough enough. Was I going to have to completely reinvent myself to be afforded space in this environment? And if so, was that a good thing or a bad thing for me? 

Call it naive optimism, but I had seriously underestimated the committment the organisation actually had to improving outcomes for learners. Year 3, we had a restructure and our learners were to be called “customers”.

LCFG has been an anchor in a year of madness. It has helped me link to kindred thinkers and activists who are making a difference.

At the same time, being in this group has been seriously confronting as it has made me realise that my integrity is being regularly undermined by my work environment.

The models that the panel of speakers on 18th September were expressing and drawing upon were transgressive, stepping outside of mainstream in ways that were new to me.

I wrote down the words of the whakatauki  (Jade or Herbert?):

He rakau morimori, e kore e taea te piki:

A tree shorn of its branches cannot be climbed