Equal pay, sit at the table, ask for what you're worth!
All of the above are often part of the dialog concerning women in the workplace. Women ask for less, do not request promotions/raises, do not sit at the table. As a big Sheryl Sandberg fan these mantras have been my mentoring rhetoric for years, starting from my own brief time in investment banking when these concepts were instilled into me through a womens group at our firm. So, when negotiating my first contract - I asked for more and I got it, I asked for time and I got it. I made sure to ASK ... I felt well trained.
However, just moments ago, I was chatting with one of our attendings and he was congratulating me on my job (I'm very happily staying at the place where I am doing my fellowship) and he asked why I hadn't moved into the vacant office yet. There is one vacant office in the department. It is clearly going to be my office. Its the small one near the bathroom that all the junior faculty get until they move up the ranks. I walk by it longingly every day and go sit in my loud cubicle and try to work while sitting next to all the administrators constantly answering phones. I fantasize about this office...mine in only a few short months. Just this morning as I walked in from the garage, I was making mental plans of which pieces of my daughters art work I need to get framed to put up in my new office. I envision my name on the door. But, NEVER had it occurred to me to "just move in." This thought was just second nature to my male attending, meanwhile I'm sitting in the background and waiting for my turn. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I do think that we have to never stop striving to be seen and recognized and heard. I see it in myself all the time. I feel it. I often have to remind myself that I worked hard for this job and every job. I walk around suppressing my impostor syndrome on an daily basis. But, today I realized I can't be complacent. I have to keep claiming my space.