Son’s Refusal to Assume That Mom’s CEO Is a Man Is a Lesson for Us All

Sometimes the simplest interactions lead to the most extraordinary realizations.

Kayce McEwan, a global human resource leader at agribusiness J.R. Simplot Company, was at a football game with her 18-year-old son and his friend. Her company’s CEO, a man, and his spouse, who were also there, approached them to say hi.

After Kayce and the boys walked away, she told them that they had just met her company’s CEO.

“Without missing a beat, my son asked, ‘Which one?’ I smiled at him, and he stared at me blank-faced, waiting for my answer,” the Idaho-based mom wrote on LinkedIn.

In that moment, Kayce realized a few things.

The first was a bit uncomfortable, but necessary to understand.

“As much as I believe women can do ANYTHING they set out to do, I may deep down hold my own unconscious bias that assumes—and believes others assume—that if it’s a CEO, it must be a man. Scary, right?”

The second was hopeful.

“The generations entering the workforce today don’t see gender, don’t see race, don’t see sexual orientation… They see a person, and will judge that person on their contribution and not on anything else. Exciting, right?”

And the last was grateful.

“How blessed I am to have an amazing husband, and two incredible sons who see their wife/mother as a leader who can and will tackle what’s put in front of her. They KNOW that women can do it!! Lucky, right?”

Kayce should feel proud of herself; she is a big reason her sons value women.

Although the post was in honor of International Women’s Day, the message is truly relevant all year round. In about a day, it received over 200 reactions on the networking site.

Several LinkedIn members thanked the mother for renewing their faith in the youth in the comments. “I love this so much. Thank you. I needed this and thank you for bringing up such gender-unbiased boys,” one wrote.