Where does equality start?
This post started off as a message inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s
2010 Ted Talk “Why we have too few women leaders”. I was in my car stuck in
traffic, of course, listening to my favorite podcast when Sandberg brought up a
brilliant point. She explained how even at a young age, children who have shown
strong leadership tendencies are called independent if they are boys and bossy
if they are girls. As I sat in my car, immersed in my own memories of being
called bossy, I became more and more anxious to rant on the topic. Multiple ideas came flooding into my mind like, how should we be raising boys so that they see girls as equal leaders beside them? That is until the
second part of her talk came in.
And this is where it gets juicy.
Women are identifying other women as bossy! Young girls are identifying other girls as bossy! It wasn’t just the boys in my classes saying I was a know it all. It was me thinking that way about other little girls and I’m sure them thinking that way of me as well. How can we become the leaders in our lives if we are just tearing one another down? Our efforts to strive for equal pay between genders, the same opportunities in the workplace, and a balance between work and home life starts with us. Rather than being intimidated by strong-willed women and cutting them down, wouldn’t we rather praise them for their determination? Encourage our coworkers to share their creative solutions? This is a concept which I feel doesn't get the attention it deserves. Women gaining equality, starts with women celebrating one another, not breaking each other down.
So, to celebrate Women’s Equality Day, I want to share 5 ways women can support one another’s hard work to further our equality efforts. Let us raise one another up. Invest in one another. Empower one another.
- Support women-owned businesses like Fair Anita! There are a ton both locally and worldwide. If you don’t believe me, just do a quick internet search & be prepared to be amazed.
- Validate other women’s ideas by repeating them aloud and then giving those women credit for their thoughts (Thank you ladies of the White House for speaking up about this!).
- There are women worldwide doing incredible things. Spread the word about these awesome accomplishments via social media, word of mouth, or whichever way you love sharing with friends and family.
- Refer to women as well…. Women. If you are anything like me, you might not even realize when you point out a grown woman but say girl. Though it may seem little, simply referring to women as women validates their position as credible, knowledgeable, and experienced human beings.
- Take time for yourself. You cannot expect yourself to succeed or help other women succeed if you are sick, tired, or worn out
Making up over 50% of the American population, we are in fact our most powerful by working together. Women have the capabilities to make incredible change in the world, but only if we start by taking the smallest of steps. If you’re still not feeling empowered, check out Sheryl Sandberg’s Ted Talk to see what she has to say about women succeeding as leaders.