The Ladies Room (Guys Allowed in Too!)
Today is International Women’s Day.
I was going to post something about the Nightclub & Bar Show, but I feel as if I’d be betraying the sisterhood if I didn’t acknowledge this “celebration.” I suppose I could post trade show models in skimpy bar attire, but I don’t think that’s the point of the day.
Women’s Day started as a Socialist holiday in 1909 and involved lots of (rightfully) angry women. Like all commemorative holidays, it has sort of evolved into an awareness-building day, a media-fest, and an awesome source of content for all us social media types. (I’m currently working on a woman-centric project for Booker, so I’m having a field day harvesting inspirational content!)
The digital world is on fire with inspirational TED talks, Pinterest memes, and slogans. We’ve come a long way baby, but is it far enough?
This year’s theme is “Pledge for Parity.” According to the official site, “The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.” In some parts of the world, the situation is truly awful. We need to fix that.
Gender discrimination in the United States is still alive and well, but to quote Rogers & Hammerstein, “I enjoy being a girl.” Even a girl of 60. I don’t feel particularly abused or objectified. Sometimes people say obnoxious things to me because I’m a woman, but I now chalk it up to their being obnoxious people.
Do I think that wage and hiring discrimination still exists? Absolutely! Although my daughters have many more choices and opportunities than I did, the pay gap still exists. (In fact, since we don’t have enough commemorative days quite yet, Equal Pay Day is April 12th).
So, what can we as women do?
- Continue to raise awareness of the issues (which is why I’m writing this. Please share it!)
- Stop whining and being bitchy to each other. Women need to start supporting other women — of all ages.
- Talk about the issues passionately but not indignantly. If you want a guy to listen, don’t yell at him.
- Stay smart. Learn the facts. Know your numbers. Be credible.
As you go through your day, you don’t need to burn your bra (as women did in the 1960’s). Although it would make a dramatic statement, it’s a pretty messy and smelly way to get your point across and people will be staring at your boobs rather than listening to what you’re saying.
Instead, simply share this post, speak to your daughters, interns, and the women (and men) in your life about the issues that still exist and talk about how to overcome them. Engage in the conversation — rationally and directly. And, if you’re feeling particularly bold and have been doing good work, ask for a raise. You go girls!
- The timeline of the women’s movement. Hard to believe that some of these big things happened in my lifetime!
- We women entrepreneurs can rule the world (or at least some of it). I started my own business at the age of 48, and never looked back (except sometimes when I miss my 79% paycheck).
- Women and STEM. Why more of us need to become tech-geeks. And some of the programs to help them get there.
- Some of my heroes (women and men) and great women over 50.
- 22 reasons why being a woman is really pretty cool.