I’ve been thinking about the theme of Each for Equal for International Women’s Day for some time. It is extremely important to highlight the fact equality is an issue that impacts many different people, not just women. Therefore, I would like to call on everyone, regardless of your gender to consider how you can help Each for Equal to be achieved.
One of my colleagues wrote a fantastic piece earlier in the week for International Women’s Day about how she was raised to believe, being a woman isn’t a barrier, and whilst this is how we should all be educated, it is far from the truth for many. Camille Rainville’s video Be a Lady They Said demonstrates the negative and detrimental messages the majority of women receive.
The other day I was talking to my mum about a woman who had recently had a baby. She said that this woman was planning to return to work soon, my mum then made a comment about how she was confused as to why the woman decided to have a baby if she wants to return to work. Instantly this sparked my feminist side. It was interesting to see that some women still have a “traditional school” mentality. This is another example of how women are socially expected to take on certain roles and if they choose to divert outside of those roles, they face criticism. However, there are so many other options available today, with both men and women being able to share parental leave.
So, what can we do about this? It feels like we need to go back to Sheryl Sandberg’s points in her book Lean In, where she discusses women supporting other women. Those of us who have been encouraged or managed to get past the negative messages need to spend more time supporting, mentoring and pushing those that haven’t been as fortunate.
Just this morning, I saw a post on LinkedIn;
“It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry about”.
This is something that will ring true for many but, for me, it isn’t just about being sorry, it is about all of the things we are taught as women around what we can, can’t, should or shouldn’t do. We need to get better at showing off our successes so that female role models are more prominent as well as supporting each other in being our best selves.
This International Women’s Day, find some time to support all the talented women you know and remember that equality is everyone’s issue.