Today is International Women’s Day. Wait, before you click the “x” to close out this page, I promise you I’m not going on a feminist rant. Hear me out.
This year’s theme #BalanceForBetter strikes a chord with me. It’s asking for all of us to stop and think about a few things like:
- Gender equity in the workforce
- Overcoming stereotypes and bias
- Increasing the positive visibility of women
- Using our platforms to positively influence the beliefs and actions of others
Personally, I don’t feel these are all “women’s” issues but rather they are things we all need to tackle in the workplace and in our lives.
Recently, I shared a post on LinkedIn about the California ruling mandating the placement of females on boards of certain sized organization. It’s a shame that is now a piece of regulation. I would have hoped at this time in our world, more organizations would see the value of having a qualified, knowledgeable and committed woman involved in policy making. I’m not sure the legislation bolsters women’s positions though. In my thoughts, I feel the people who have not made that move on their own by now, will probably only resent the addition and fail to embrace what she might bring to the table or the position will be a figurehead type spot only.
Any female alive has experienced some type of bias or stereotype at some point in their lives. Whether it was growing up when she wanted to play football in the backyard with the guys, ride a motorcycle for fun, or try a profession that was deemed male in nature. (However, I know men who experienced the same pushback when they pursued careers deemed unmanly.) The key is to not take no for an answer. If you have a passion for a profession, pursue it.
I believe it’s vital for women to pay it forward and be supportive of each other and the work (both professional and personally) each other does. We need to share what we learn along the path and not hold it tight. We need to light the path for those younger women beginning their climb, so their voices and ideas can shine. Remember, we don’t have to be perfect at what we do. We just have to be perfectly us doing it.
It’s time we connect and grow together. It’s about beginning to really know the people you work alongside of and go to church with. It’s getting to know each other on a human level. Pulling people together leads to conversation, which leads to action. That helps shifts culture both in and out of the office. We learn we have shared beliefs and ideas. It adds a sense of value in people. It builds trust.
I’ll never be one that says you owe me something because of my sex, my degree, my age or anything. I just expect a chance and that you look at my qualifications – not whether I wear high heels or loafers. So in honor of International Women’s Day I urge you too:
- Own what sets you apart from others. Use these differences as strengths.
- Don’t follow the crowd—lead it.
- Give yourself permission to be you. No one else can do it. When you dare to be you, you’ll feel inner happiness that radiates and causes the right people to gravitate to you.
- Don’t allow someone else to make you feel insignificant. Each of us matter and have something special inside the world needs to see. You are impacting someone else even if you are unaware of the effect you have.
- Don’t get stuck looking in the rear view mirror. If that becomes your vision, you’ll never move past it.
- Let your vision enlarges to encompass the people who matter. It becomes more when you look outside your needs and focus on helping others who are struggling meet theirs.
The world would not be the same place without you in it.
In honor of International Women’s Day here’s a freebie to help you #BalanceForBetter.