Friends and business associates who know me well will say I'm a passionate advocate for equality. My decision to not be a member of an "executive women's group" wasn't really a decision at all. Rather, it was an evolution of thought that brought me around to declining several invitations to join similar such groups. The question always in my mind is "why can't we all simply be people?" We need to resist the urge to accept the labels society imposes and take an active stand against labels of any kind. Let's take the "but" out of our thoughts and conversations. "She'd be great at this job, but. . ." "He seems like he'd be a great fit, but. . ." "I like her teacher, but. . ." Where there is a "but" there is a negative expectation and implication. Where there is exclusion there is adversity. To cultivate a successful labor force, let's include the "and" in our communications and exclude the "but".