Breaking Limits

I was watching the movie “Becoming the Ricardo’s” and my heart went out to the challenges that Lucille Ball faced in achieving her success.

The challenges I could identify:

  • By supporting her grandfather and helping the small guy she checked the box that she was a communist 20 years ago. The press labeled her a communist and she had to prove her loyalty to the USA.
  • She had to be sensitive to not upstand her spouse.
  • She expected fidelity in her marriage and when she didn’t get it, she filed for divorce.
  • She and the writers balanced her scripts to being funny but not appearing stupid.
  • She struggled with the studios and advertisers with her pregnancy. She expected to continue – they didn’t.

We all face challenges every day. I was the third woman CPA at my first job out of college. I was not aware of any women CPA owners during that time in Green Bay.

I recall being not allowed on certain jobs. The partners reason – the client didn’t respect women or the wives of the other CPAs didn’t like it if I was on the job. I thought it interesting that no one thought of protecting me against the male CPAs. Even today 40 percent of all CPAs are women however only 23% are partners or owners.

I discovered that I loved the work, but didn’t like the culture. So, I broke the limit by starting my own business. Sometimes I accept limitations because I never questioned them. I wonder which limitations I can break this year?

By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA

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