Meghan Stabler is a hard-working mom, an advisor at a multibillion dollar company, and board member of the Human Rights Campaign. She has also just become Working Mother magazine’s Working Mother of the Year, an accomplishment made even more so by the fact that she is the first transgender woman to receive the honor. What’s more, she used her award as an opportunity to speak out about gender inequality, especially in the workplace.
“What is remarkable is the staggering inequality we working mothers face,” says Stabler in a Huffpost article responding to the win. “The reality of the workplace for women in 2014 is stark; I know because I’ve seen both sides. I started my career as a male, and as long as I presented as such, I found that my views and opinions were widely respected. But since transitioning to my true, authentic self, I’ve come to recognize the gender-stereotypical male dominance in meetings and work in general, something I never thought about until I was on the receiving end of it. In the modern workplace it’s the male alpha dog vs. the bossy female (who, by the way, is shouting beneath the glass ceiling to have her voice heard and receive equal pay).”
Stabler also emphasizes that she does not believe that being the first transgender woman of the year makes her exceptional. “Remarkable isn’t it?” She says, “actually it’s not. I’m just like any other mom, be she single, partnered, or married: I’m planning meals, balancing budgets, figuring out how to encourage my child to enjoy reading, and juggling my schedule to accommodate taking my daughter to the doctor when he’s sick. While most of the U.S. puts a label on who I am, both at home and in the workplace, to myself I’m just a working mother.”
Being “just a working mother” is impressive in and of itself, but Stabler’s humble acceptance of such a prestigious award is even more honorable. She went on to speak on LGBT issues, and how women and the LGBT community both have a more difficult time in the professional world, and how we need to change that. “We’ve come a long way on the equality journey, but we still have a long way to go with regard to women in the workplace and LGBT diversity. This fight isn’t just about LGBT rights, it’s about our rights as women to a fair and equal chance at leadership in the workplace-working mothers or not.”
Congratulations to Meghan Stabler and thanks for advocating for all of us!