This year’s AIWC Spring Luncheon featured The Honorable Suzi LeVine -US Ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein- and her husband, Eric LeVine.
As you can see, the W in AIWC represents Women of all ages from dozens of countries. So though we are a single gender organization, Ambassador and Mr. LeVine’s speech about Gender and Diversity fell upon open minds.
Mr. LeVine began their joint presentation sharing his experience of growing up with a father who had high expectations of his son; and while valuing that support, he wished his sisters’ had had the same confidence placed in them.
Mr. LeVine is currently a stay-at-home dad and as such has been experiencing first hand how society treats women as the moms and men, if they dare stay at home, as care-givers. The difference being, for example, the school trying to contact mom -Ambassador LeVine- rather than dad – the actual Emergency Contact.
Ambassador LeVine went on to speak about her experiences regarding the richness of diversity in the work place as well as the challenge of re-entering the workforce after staying home with their children. She noted that while women tend to detail their experience based on fact, men tend to express their skills based on aspirations. I can tell you that got a lot of chuckles and nodding of heads.
When the question was asked, “What advice would you give your daughter entering the workforce?” Ambassador LeVine chose to defer to her audience. The two answers that stood out to me were opposing viewpoints: one woman said be humble while another said stand out and up for yourself.
This luncheon has been on my mind for the past two weeks. While sitting together, Ambassador LeVine asked me several questions about my position as President of this Club. Despite the amount of time, energy and emotions I give to the AIWC on a voluntary basis, I provided her with weak, vague answers. I realized after her speech and the Q&A that I live in the modesty camp where I believe actions speak for themselves. However, on this day they didn’t and that bothers me.
So what are your thoughts on modesty versus sharing your skills and accomplishments? And where lies the line between bragging and differentiating one’s self?
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/