This is not a post about politics, political views, or opinions. Relax.
In the United States, our political situation is a complete shitshow. That is a fact, not an opinion. No sane person will dispute that, no matter the side of the aisle they stand on. Whether your team is right or my team is right is subjective and personal (unless of course you align with some misanthropic, chauvinistic, racist group – in which case you are not just wrong, you are an asshole). What is not subjective is that the person presumably elected to the office of Vice President of the United States shattered several glass ceilings and glass walls and has redefined what “hero” should mean to a younger generation. We, the American People, a group governed and guided by white men, have elected a brown woman as the Vice President of the United States.
Kamala Harris (pronounced “comma-la”) was elected Vice President last week. I sincerely hope there is not a mom or dad alive in this country, red or blue, that did not show their daughter that they could be anything they wanted when Kamala took the stage in her white pantsuit. I also hope they told their sons that women, red, blue, brown, or white, are every bit as capable, and perhaps more so, of holding high office as them.
Kamala was elected VP. She rose, she challenged, she was selected, she succeeded. If I had daughters, I would hang her poster in their rooms. But I have sons. And they are still probably getting a poster of Kamala in their rooms. This is a big fucking deal. This is about a person rising through a barrier imposed, self or not, upon them.
Kamala’s election to VP is not just about politics though. For sure, it is less about politics than a statement to America. “Boy” jobs aren’t just for boys.
I have grown up in the subsea industry, from being a punk-ass diver cleaning boat hulls in the dead of winter as a kid to the CEO of a subsea robotics company today. It is the only career I have had and the only industry I know. So, just as we can point out the flaws of our own family but reserve the right to punch in the throat the person outside the family that points out the same flaws, I make this observation: This is a white male industry.
There are women doing amazing things in our industry: Sam Macdonald at Deep Trekker, Jill Zande at MATE, Whitney Million at Aquabotics, and Michelle Estaphan Owen at NUWC, just to name a few. At Greensea, we have our own dream team of women Moving theF@$%ing Ball and setting the world on fire: Marybeth, Chelsea, Maggie, Dani, Heather, Dawn, Regina, and Naomi. But let’s not kid ourselves, this is largely a white male industry from the C-suite to the engineering floor to the deck plate.
But maybe, just maybe, that is changing. Kamala, backed by more than 78 million Americans who supported her, just showed our newest generation that it is possible to chart your own course regardless of sex, or race, or identity. If she can do it in the white male industry of American politics, I am sure we can do it in the subsea industry and I am really excited to see the change. Girl Power.