Young Women Leaders

About “why this?”

it´s me again. I thought I´d write a little bit more about why I am so passionate about (young) women´s leadership.

Throughout my childhood and somewhat until this day I have been an insecure girl and young woman. As a child I was nervous about a lot of things: gym class, talking to the boys in class, performing in different kind of situations, talking to adults, any kind of sports I had to do, games we had to play (especially the ones called “fruit salad” and “gingerbread men”).
I think back and I think I was unrelaxed most of the time. When we had the annual evaluation meeting with my parents and my teachers, I was always told that they knew I had the answer to the questions, I just needed to raise my hand sometime so they could give me the chance to show my knowledge.
My dad even gave me a post it note to put down how many times I raised my hand every day.
Now, what did I do with that? Here´s the problem. I made three columns:
1) Number of times I raised my hand
2) Number of times I got to answer
3) Number of times I answered correctly

You see, I was so fixated with being RIGHT, and the reason I hardly ever raised my hand was because I was not 100% sure I was going to answer the question correctly. It makes me sad to think that 8-year old Hanna never really got to discuss things in class because she was too afraid of other people judging her for saying something “wrong.”

I´m still this way, I have a hard time asking questions because I´m afraid of sounding dumb. When I am in large groups and I feel uncomfortable I am quiet. I beat myself up on the inside when I think I have not done a good enough job.

But I am sure not many notice this. I have only told a few people about this, and I know I am good at keeping a facade up. And I know there are many other women out there like me, that are smart and beautiful and funny and witty and sassy, but not comfortable at all times to be themselves, because it is not what society expects of them.
What I really want is for women to feel like they not have to care about the expectations of society, but instead to take steps and make gains in field that they are interested in, no matter what they themselves look like, talk like or act like. I am reminded each and every day of the invisible (and sometimes visible) walls that exist in society, keeping women out or boxed in.

Young women need more imperfect, but in their own way perfect, inspirational role models.

HannaMe today


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