It almost never is.
There are a lot of situations where it really isn’t “about you.” I often joke with my partner that “it’s not always about you.” Very often the ego serves us well, but what about the times when we’re told it is us, and it really isn’t?
I read this HBR article about women asking for raises. We’ve been told over, and over, and over again that we just need to ask. Sheryl Sandberg wrote a whole book telling us to lean in and to ask, get what’s ours. We get marketed workshops, seminars, books, self-help columns, even performance reviews about needing to be better at asking and negotiating. I’m not saying we all couldn’t improve our skills, but according to this article we ARE asking, we ARE leaning in, and we ARE wanting what is deserved. We just aren’t getting it.
So maybe the rhetoric that it’s our problem can finally start shift. Maybe we can take a harder look at the people in positions of power that automatically just give us 5% less. Or look harder at the systems we’ve built to keep women out and figure out how we can dismantle them. We definitely have ideas – all you have to do is ask.