The pandemic has for many people, provided a time to take stock or assess where they are in life. I watch the news and am often in tears, seeing the sickness, death and sacrifices made all over the world. If I am blessed to make it through this crisis without falling victim to illness, I have decided to show up differently. I want to look at the world differently, I want to demand to be treated differently.
Women often have trouble taking credit for their contributions or standing up for themselves. You can’t be too bold, too aggressive or too challenging. How can we change that reality? I am not completely sure how a sustained movement can occur. The women’s marches had made me hopeful, but it did not result in the changes needed in our country. Perhaps it is not a march, but a true reckoning of the individual power we all possess. That power can be leveraged in a multitude of ways.
1. Support women in politics. That means voting like we never have before. It means that male politicians who do not vote in our interests like equal pay and business opportunities, paid leave to care for our children and the right to decide what we want to do with our bodies – DO NOT RECIEVE OUR SUPPORT.
2. Support women in business. We need to be recognized for our contributions in the workplace, we need to see gender parity in executive leadership and on boards. The facts illustrate that companies that do so are more successful. I don’t need to see another study on this topic.
3. Build multi-generation cohesion for women. From our young girls to our seniors – we need to help each other. Single mothers, working mothers, single women, married women, new graduates – we can learn from each other. Our connectedness and shared experiences have tangible value that we should be leveraging. Reach out and tell another woman about a business opportunity, support my promotion when my name comes up, volunteer and teach other women how to invest their money or buy a home.
I am a feminist, its not a dirty word and it does not mean that I don’t love men and appreciate them as allies and partners. However, existing in a world where its okay to pay me less than my male counterparts, where motherhood is only tolerated in the workplace, where my intellect and perspectives are not recognized as valuable – is not okay.
If the pandemic teaches us anything – it is that life is too short to not be fully seen. I am showing up differently today, tomorrow and the next day. That’s just the way its going to be.