Just a Girl: Growing Up Female and Ambitious
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What is your book about?
A female pioneer during the 1950s to 2010s, Lucinda Jackson struggles to succeed as a scientist in America’s male-dominated work world. She battles sexist torment in girlhood, in jobs on farms and in restaurants, in academia’s science cliques, and in the halls and corner office of Fortune 500 companies—and, eventually, she overcomes shame and self-blame, learns to believe in herself, and becomes a champion for others. Eye-opening and upfront, with insider tips, Just a Girl points the way to a brighter future for women everywhere.
What inspired you to write your book?
When I was 9 years old, a stranger in a store approached me sexually. I saw right away that men could be predators of girls and it made me cautious. In high school, I experienced sexual harassment by a teacher and sexism in general as a female interested in pursuing science. Further, my father told me girls didn’t need to go to college and that my goal should be to learn to cook so I could catch a husband. During almost 50 years in academia and corporations, I personally experienced rampant harassment and sexism. As I became a manager, I became stronger and helped other women overcome sexism and find their power. I wrote this book initially to explain to myself why all this happened. Then I realized my story could help others.
If you have a business related to your book, tell us about it:
Lucinda Jackson Ventures is a speaker and consultant business to help build workplaces where women want to work.
What is a typical day like for you?
I work on my second book about finding identity, freedom and love later in life. I update social media for Just a Girl: Growing Up Female and Ambitious. I meet with clients. And I love to exercise (yoga, biking, hiking, swimming)! I completely enjoy my wonderful women friends and my family!
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I love working with other writers. They always have a great story! I also enjoy changing our society towards more equality for women.
What are some favorite books you’d recommend to our readers?
I recommend the must-read classic feminist books by our sisters who came before us: Speaking Truth to Power by Anita Hill, Unbought and Unbossed by Shirley Chisholm, Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem
What advice do you have to offer our readers?
My call to action is for all of us to keep talking about the sexism in our society until women have equal pay, parity in female representation and leadership, and equal rights. We don’t have any of this yet, so our struggle is not over. I recommend further steps: –For men: 1. Step up and speak up—do not be a passive bystander, practice bystander intervention 2. Role model the “new” masculinity 3. Parent equally in raising strong and sensitive boy and girl children –For women: 1. Join male-dominated fields, stay in them, and speak up 2. Network with and support other women always 3. Practice behaviors such as getting the floor, not apologizing, and calling out sexism 4. Parent equally in raising strong and sensitive boy and girl children. We women must speak up. I let all women know that they can expect retaliation if they speak up. But I also tell them they must do it anyway. It’s the only way for our society to change. I also coach them that they will feel so much better about themselves if they say something—not go through life knowing they played a role in perpetuating the status quo. So I ask them to be brave. Fortunately, files of complaint are not in your corporate records so officially no one knows about it. That being said, word gets out. If asked if they ever “complained” about unequal treatment, I tell women they can make it into a positive: “Yes, I spoke up because I believe everyone needs to be treated fairly, men and women. It makes me a good leader.”
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a feminist who believes we all have a role in removing sexism and sexual harassment from our society. People would be surprised that I served in the Peace Corps at age 66!
What’s next for you?
I am working on my second book about identity, freedom, and love later in life. It is set in Palau in Micronesia and is a harrowing and fun story of obtaining an unscripted life. I also continue to speak at companies to help them develop into organizations where women want to work.