Today is International Women’s Day.  It was officially established  in 1910 per the suggestion of a German woman, Clara Zetkin.  She proposed there should be an annual celebration day for women to press for their demands.  The United States had established a National Women’s Day the year prior in 1909, which served as an inspiration and catalyst for the rest of the world.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were plenty of men back then that thought, “What?  Who do they think they are?  This is going to stir up trouble. I hope my wife doesn’t hear about this.”  Although, I’d like to believe there were a good percentage of cool guys with expanded minds that were fully supportive.

For such an important annual day, I’m surprised it’s so quiet.  Why isn’t this day of tribute granted the same respect as any other day that is an official government holiday…with an associated day off at work?

The Clintons started a clever, in-your-face campaign called “Not There Yet” that removes women’s faces from videos, advertisements and billboards.  It highlights the fact that there is more progress to be made regarding women’s equality.   The video is narrated by very powerful women who ‘Are There,’ and deliberately omits women’s faces to emphasize the point that we are not there 😉

I would have loved to have seen the video wrap up with snippets on how and why Oprah & other female power players beat discrimination in their own careers.   The final scene would be… “Employers,  you’re going to get sued if you’re guilty of this.  Do the right thing.  Audit human resources for any evidence of inequality and step it up if you need to.  Otherwise, it’ll cost you.”

What Can Hurt the Women’s Movement?

There are both external issues and issues within our control that need to be addressed.  Below are examples of challenges that have been known to impede progress for women but can be conquered:

  • Lack of confidence.  Embracing internal power to take confidence and  self-esteem to higher levels is of utmost importance.
  • Competition.  Being competitive can be healthy if it keeps one accountable and always improving.  However, those finding themselves regularly engaged in ‘mean girl’ sabotage, etc., does indeed hurt the women’s movement.
  • Sexed-up outfits in the workplace has become much more popular as the media has encouraged the transformation of the girls next door into strippers and porn stars.  Many guys and conservative women may very well take the “show offs”  less seriously….fair or not.  It depends on the industry, so get a feel for what makes sense in the work environment.  If the boss is sporting major cleavage & serious sideboob, then all systems are go for sexy dress.  Read the legendary book Dress for Success and you can’t go wrong.  Note:  If a Hero is needed in a catastrophic situation, that person will not be wearing stilettos 😉

 Summary

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate our achievements and reflect on how we can contribute to further progress.  We need to use our power to challenge situations that are unfair or are holding us back.

The glass of wine at the end of the day tastes way better when you have taken on a challenge and beat it.  If life were easy, no soulful lessons would be learned, no strength is gained.  Who wants to talk with someone or read a book by someone who has skipped through the daisies their whole life?   Boring…  Plus, the daisy skippers have been known to develop the inner strength of a marshmallow.

Let’s celebrate the huge progress that women have made.  We can also celebrate in advance the progress we are going to continue to make.  It’s important to support and steer each other in the right direction.  Intelligence, hard work and a gutsy yet positive attitude will contribute to  greater confidence, more battles won and even more success stories.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Embrace your challenges and  ‘Roar!’

Peace out ~