I was recently gifted Sheryl Sandberg’s book noted above. You know how things happen in life right when you need them to happen? Well … the person who gifted me this book was in the right place at the right time, and has blessed me tenfold by such a seemingly simple gift.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from this book so far, it is that women second guess themselves. A lot. Boy is that true for me! Sandberg talks about how many women (and yes, she is quoting research here) automatically attribute their success to mistakes or to others, and expect the other shoe to drop at any time. When they are asked to do something big, they assume it is a mistake or feel like a fraud – as if they aren’t qualified enough for the honor.

Ladies – does this ring true to any of you?? It did for me. I still have a lot to learn, and will never pretend otherwise. But why do we so easily discount ourselves?

Newsflash, ladies: you worked hard to get where you are today! Don’t be apologetic for your success. Don’t be egotistical about it, but at the same time don’t dismiss it or downplay it.

R&R’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign is about recognizing women for the strides they are making within the restoration industry, unapologetically. It is not bragging to share your wisdom and success. The simple truth is women have unique ideas for how businesses run, care for customers differently, and lead differently. Just as the RIA’s Young Professional Restorers Group is helping the next generation of restorers shine and find their voice; R&R wants women to find theirs.

Nominations are being accepted through March 31 for this year’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign. Just like last year, women can fill out a profile form at www.randrmagonline.com/womeninrestoration, or others can fill out a nomination form for one of their peers, also located on that site. Every entry will be carefully reviewed and scored by a panel of fellow women in restoration. The only requirement is women must have at least 10 years of industry experience to enter. If you entered last year, but didn’t win, please enter again!

We are thrilled to have Violand Management Associates back as the campaign’s core sponsor this year. VMA is all about growing leaders in the restoration industry – old, young, male, female -- which is why they have a half-day Women in Leadership event during their Executive Summit this June. They have kindly (or perhaps mistakenly haha) asked me to moderate this year’s event on June 14, and I would love to see many of R&R’s readers there and taking part in this important industry discussion!

Plus, on one final note, R&R is thrilled to be presenting this year’s Recognizing Women in Restoration award during the Contractor Connection Conference & Expo this June in St. Louis, Missouri!