Lesson 4: Find a Way into the Room
Billie’s fourth lesson learned is “find a way into the room.” The room is a term used to describe the group of people who are in power making decisions. Many people wait to be invited into the room when in reality, no one is going to do that but yourself. Billie, being a successful entrepreneur and business owner, has used her persistence and grit to make her way into a position of autonomy.
Because of this, Billie has the authority to make important decisions that not only affect her, but also her peers and community. She encourages people to do the same, whether it’s the school board, the conference room or the U.S. Congress. Urging people to find ways into these rooms will promote diversity and equality, which is essential to bettering the community around us.
Persistence and Grit
Someone who is undeniably an example of this lesson is Ruth Bater Ginsberg. Ginsberg is known for being the second ever female to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. However, she endured her fair share of trials before she was truly accepted into the room to make decisions. During her academic career, Ginsberg was one of nine females in her 500-person class at Harvard Law. Not only was she facing gender discrimination at her school, but her husband was also diagnosed with testicular cancer in her first year of law school. She had to juggle being a full-time student, mother, and wife all while being discriminated against because of her gender. Nonetheless, Ginsberg persisted and graduated at the top of her class.
One of Ginsberg’s most notable rulings in the Supreme Court was United States vs. Virginia (1996). She argued that gender equality is a constitutional right. In the end, she was one of the leading proponents behind this successful case. She used her power to make it easier for other women to be in “the room.” Like Ginsberg, Billie uses her power and success to stand up for the people who are not in decision making positions. These women are tireless advocates for the community and would not be where they are today without the courage to make their way into the room.