A former exec at Google and Apple named Ellen Petry Leanse noticed that how many times women in work place used the word “just”, as she described in this article. It reminded me how many times I use it. So I searched my emails for “just” and surprised that how I almost start every request to my co-workers with “just”. More strikingly, this only happens when I email my male co-workers, and almost never in the emails I sent to my female co-workers.
I also picked up the use of “just” AFTER I moved to NC 3.5 years ago. yes, the time when I moved away from a familiar and friendly environment where I was very confident with my performance, to an environment where exist strong discrete hierarchy and certain level of sexism. What made it even worse was that I suddenly worked with two male co-workers with strong egos. This was entirely a different working culture and it hit my confidence hard.
Now I could see where the problem originated, it is time to stop using this word and to actively expel it from my daily vocabulary. Let us see if change the way we speak can truly change our way of thinking for the better.