I love misfits. Misfits are so much more interesting than people who fit in, the fit-inners. Most people are fit-inners,and there is nothing wrong with that. It's just that fit-inners are more boring than misfits. In my opinion, all great people throughout history have been misfits. Abraham Lincoln - tall, gangly, depressed misfit; Martin Luther King, Jr. - African-American outspoken, rebellious misfit; Mahatma Ghandi - little, diaper wearing, rebellious misfit. Visionaries are misfits. Most people are sociable, congenial rule-followers. Most people are just fine people, just not as interesting as misfits.
My clients, by and large, are misfits. I apologize to any clients or former clients who may be reading this. You may not want to be considered a misfit. But, I think you are and that is a great compliment in my book. My clients are Whistleblowers, people fighting unlawful racial, sexual and age discrimination, and people who don't want to accept the status quo. My clients have the courage to make waves. Making waves in our society of conformity is difficult. It's hard to be unpopular.
One of the reasons that women make 76% of what men make is because both women and men have bought into the status quo view that "women's work" is not as valuable as work traditionally performed by men. People accept that a secretary should make less than a laborer. Our firm, could not function without our secretaries. They are vital to our practice. As a lawyer, I hear repeatedly that women are less likely to make partnership because they can't work 80 hours due to "family" demands. Hell, men should not be working 80 hours a week if they have families unless they want screwed up kids. Our priorities are screwed up.
But, I digress. Perhaps what I am really saying is we need more women (and men) misfits. We need people questioning our societal values. We need more people willing to buck the system. Misfits are not always happy people. Perhaps unhappiness can be a good thing. Unhappy people change the world.