Happy International Women’s Day! It’s definitely a day to celebrate all of the amazing women in your world, and the women who came before us who paved the way for us to have the rights we have today. While I feel incredibly lucky to live in the time and area that I do, I am well aware that our work is far from over.
As someone who works in the tech industry, I work with a lot of incredibly smart and talented people. What I have come across, however, is a disparity in the female representation in the more technical fields. It’s something that is constantly evolving as more and more women find career paths in technology. In my short career, I have noticed an uptick in the female representation in the tech space, which is an amazing thing to see. That doesn’t mean, however, that women are always treated as equals. In fact, I’ve had several instances where I can confidently say that if I had been a man, I probably wouldn’t have been met with such hostility and opposition by those in positions of power.
Whether it was intentional or not, men often have a way of talking down to younger female employees, referring to us as “girls”, or calling us too emotional or sensitive. The fact of the matter is that women and men often approach situations differently, and if we’re going to make progress, we need to understand this and move forward. As a young career person, I know that I am just as capable of having good ideas and am able to complete my work just as well as the next guy or gal who is a few years my senior.
Photos by Lauren Wilks Photography
How to Support Women on International Women’s Day
What I’m getting at here is that as much as I’d love to say that women and men are equal in pay and opportunity, I don’t believe we’re there yet. And until we are, we need to support our fellow women and work to be sure that our voices are heard. So what, as females, can we do to empower the other women in our lives? On International Women’s Day, I thought it was appropriate to share some of the ways in which I’ll be supporting my fellow females today and in the future, even if I’m unable to take the day off work.
Stand in Solidarity
I feel incredibly privileged to live in a metro area that is, for the most part, progressive and accepting of those who may be different. That’s not the case everywhere in this country or around the world, and I think it’s important to stand up for those who may be unable to do so for themselves. If you see someone treating someone poorly, speak out. No one deserves to be harassed, catcalled, or made to be afraid just because of their gender, sexual orientation, the way they look, or for any other reason.
Support a #Girlboss
Before #Girlboss was a thing, women have been running their own businesses and empires. They juggle being a mother, maintaining friendships, and many keep a full-time job while they pursue their dreams on the side. So on this day celebrating women, let’s give back to those who are working hard by supporting women-owned businesses. If you’re not shopping today, be sure to support a female owned business this week. Whether it’s your favorite local woman-owned coffee shop, chocolate maker, artisan, or boutique owner, show your support by shopping female.
Register to Vote
If you didn’t vote in the last election… look, I get it. It can feel like one vote doesn’t have power. But think if everyone felt that way. Who would vote? If we all register to vote and exercise our right to, we will be sure that our collective voices mean something.
Never Stop Learning
This past political election made me realize how much I didn’t know about our government, and I regret not paying more attention sooner. Being a good citizen means that we must educate ourselves to the best of our ability. For me, that means seeking out a variety of news sources and educating myself on the issues I am most passionate about so that I can also better educate others.
Donate to Women’s Organizations
Even if you have negative 508,038 hours in your day, there’s always time to make a contribution to a women’s organization. Whether it’s a local organization supporting the women of our future like ReelGrrls, an after school program to mentor young women and gender non-conforming youth through media production, a women’s shelter like Mary’s Place, or a national organization supporting girls who are interested in the science, math, and technology like the National Girls Collaborative Project, there are thousands of worthy organizations deserving of your donations of time or money. And, I wish I had the time and energy to be able to educate myself on all of the amazing organizations for women out there, so if you have a favorite, please leave it in the comments below so I can check it out!
Feeling fortunate to be a woman today and every day. Women are strong, powerful, and capable. We are beautiful, interesting, smart, and complex. Don’t forget to tell a woman that inspires or motivates you how they have impacted your life. And never apologize for being a strong, powerful woman. The world needs you.
How do you celebrate the women in your life? Are you participating in any International Women’s Day marches today? I’d love to hear how you’re celebrating today in the comments!