109 – What our culture does to ambitious women with Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez

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In this episode of Badass Moms, Kelly discusses the challenges that women face in their careers due to discrimination and harassment. She introduces guest Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, a writer who covers ambition, money, and power. The discussion centers around the obstacles that women face in male-dominated industries and how they can break through those barriers. The episode discusses the challenges that women face in the workplace, including discrimination, harassment, and limited opportunities for advancement. This episode offers tools and advice for women to confidently ask for what they want in all areas of life. The conversation also touches on the implications of these issues for women’s home lives and relationships, the myth of women’s ambition, the systemic issue of guilt and self-doubt that women face, and the importance of diversity in leadership teams. Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, encourages people to live into their biggest, truest self-personalities.


What you’ll learn in this episode:


[00:00:00] Ambition and gender inequality.

[00:06:06] Women earning more & relationships.

[00:08:12] Gender roles and stereotypes.

[00:17:40] Paradigm shift in gender roles.

[00:20:14] Systemic gender biases.

[00:24:16] Gendered spending double standards.

[00:32:26] Overcoming self-blame in ambition.

[00:37:10] Discrimination and its legacy.

[00:45:11] Women and motherhood expectations.

[00:49:05] Public criticism of women’s ambition.

[00:57:51] Embracing Intensity in Personality.



·       00:02:38 – “Women’s ambition isn’t the problem. The problem is what our culture does to ambitious women.”

·       00:03:19 – “Almost every experience we have of being made to feel like we don’t belong or we’re doing too much or we’re doing too little is really a result of a culture, of a workplace, of a societal structure that really just penalizes women no matter what they do.”

·       00:12:50 – “This is not something that I think is something that we’re not talking about enough. I actually think our level of outrage does not match how much of a crisis this is.”

·       00:18:07 – “The notion that this is a gendered phenomenon and that women overwhelmingly, spontaneously, or biologically somehow choose one thing while men somehow spontaneously or biologically choose another is predicated on false assumptions and these ideas that have been debunked over and over and over again.”

·       00:24:22 – “Anything associated stereotypically with femininity is often devalued.”

·       00:31:26 – “It was me, it was something I did. Who was I to think I could ask for more? Who was I to think that I could act on my ambitions in these spaces that have historically really just not allowed somebody like me to have them?”

·       00:38:35 – “It’s so much of an issue. And I sometimes think it’s almost worse in some ways. I don’t want to say gender discrimination is worse than it used to be. But I think what’s worse about it is the amount of gaslighting that happens now because it’s not explicit.”

·       00:43:18 – “Oh, women just don’t pursue high paying jobs. It’s just like simply predicated on lies.”

·       00:49:27 – “People are trying to criticize them into silence and stigmatize them into silence.”

·       00:55:49 – “I am really proud of that. Like, I don’t care if it’s shallow. I don’t care if it’s like, okay, we grew by 60,000 Instagram followers in the last six months. That stuff is valuable because I see what happens in the comments and I see what happens in my direct messages and the emails I’ve gotten.”


Connect with Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez:



Connect with Kelly Donahue:

·       Website:             badassmoms.com.

·       LinkedIn:             Badass Moms.

·       Instagram:          @kellydonahue_badassmoms.


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Kelly Donahue Badass Moms

Hi I’m Kelly

I help moms feel powerful & badass so you can laugh more, worry less, and enjoy this beautiful life you’ve made.


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