The number of women leaving or scaling back on their careers in 2020 should get every leader’s attention. We also must examine December’s job loss numbers, in which all 140,000 jobs lost in that month were held by women. On the heels of a year that continues to cripple the female workforce, it becomes more important than ever that we honor Women’s History Month.
Although we may still be working remotely, the need to honor the work of the women who got us here, acknowledge the challenges of the last year, and lock arms in creating work environments that work for women should be a priority for organizations.
“We must honor our history while locking arms to not repeat it.”
Our history is paved with fearless trailblazers who fought for women to enter rooms, organizations, & industries. We must find inspiration from their glass ceiling shattering courage, and celebrate how far their work has taken us.
Let us share stories of their bravery, and immerse ourselves in this rich history to learn from their battle plans to build our own.
We must also use Women’s History Month to honor our own professional journeys. Our careers emerge through the daily grind. Achievements, missteps, and hindsights collected over decades of titles, deadlines & conversations. The busyness consumes us, and we often forget to take inventory of how far we have come. It is not until we pause and reflect on the career & social capital we truly package our professional legacies.
May we pause, and reflect on our own histories long enough to let the wisdom float to the top. May that richness be reinvested into the women around us.
Our history only becomes valuable when pain turns into wisdom, achievement gives others opportunity, and all that we’ve collected along the way is shared.
Pause & Acknowledge This Moment
As far as history has brought us, we still have more work to do. 2020 made that abundantly clear. Our work environments are failing working mothers and caregivers. We have this brief nanosecond in history, while these scars are fresh, to take action.
We must support her decision to put family first, but also explore and address the challenges that caused this difficult decision. Her departure must be a catalyst that opens the door to changes in our work environments.
May we unite & lock arms to bust through this “pandemic wall”. This year, let no woman face shared challenges alone. May we always find the support, grace, & courage needed in the months ahead—from one another.
Suffering in silence must end here.
The Future Is Watching & Listening
2020 was the year when work and home collided in makeshift work spaces shared with tabletop virtual school. It was the first time when “what we do” became interrupted by “why we do it”. It was also introduced our partners, children, and anyone else within earshot to our work conversations.
Our daughters received a crash course on how disruptive, stressful, and exhausting work can be when our environments are not conducive to an employee’s entire life. 2021 is an extraordinary opportunity to shape workplaces that will work for future generations.
May we never again compartmentalize our lives to make them more orderly for others. While little ears eavesdrop & curious eyes are upon us in our home offices, may we lead by example paving the way for the next generation.
I’m honoring Women’s History Month by holding places for important conversations on mentorship, money, & morale for women in corporate.
Who is ready to lock arms?