My boys have all left for golf. I just finished making the beds. I’m sipping coffee, and instead of going to the gym, or for a walk, I really feel like I have something to say today.
So, sitting surrounded by inspirational sayings in my sweet new office and calm space, here goes.
You may or many not know that today is Womens’ Equality Day. To give you a point of reference, this is it:
“At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”
The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.
The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.” (http://www.nwhp.org)
So in a nutshell, it’s the anniversary of us being able to vote and in the bigger picture, the move towards fuller equality.
Today, my thoughts over that cup of coffee have broken up today into three areas: equality in the workplace, equality in your relationship, and equality with other women.
This could be good, right?!
I like where this is heading.
Equality in the Workplace
Women have made strides over the years in the workplace. Companies are starting to really see the value of female leadership. However, there are still organizations that uphold the notion of the “old boys’ club.” There are still areas of work that are dominated by males, and if we are to sit at the table with men, if we are to break through the glass ceiling in the workplace, there is still more to be done.
So, here are some ideas.
If we are looking to break through that glass ceiling, we have to be willing to: TAKE INITIATIVE, ALWAYS BE VISIBLE, and BECOME A RESOURCE. Ask to spearhead the next project. Be visible in team meetings. Show leadership right in your current position. Become an INTRAPRENEUR (someone within a company who shows entrepreneurial skill). We will have to go beyond the job description. The truth is, to advance, you have to be willing to do the things the common person in your job isn’t. Being a phenomenal resource makes your irreplaceable, and well, once you are irreplaceable, you are in the driver’s seat of your career.
Next, don’t be afraid to ask for advancement opportunities (meaning a move up or department change or raise). There’s no perfect time to ask to be properly compensated for your hard work, but a good time is during your annual or semi-annual review. And don’t you be afraid to ask for that meeting with your boss if your review isn’t anywhere in sight! Send an email asking for a meeting, and make it clear that you’d like to discuss your performance and opportunities within the organization. Bring notes into the meeting with clear examples/evidence of positive changes and contributions you have made to the company, making your value evident.
Shattering the glass ceiling starts with you and you and you and me.
Equality in your Marriage or Relationship
This is a big one for me. I feel very strongly about having a voice in your marriage. I am thankful that my parents raised me with the tools to manifest a life where I developed my self-esteem, and so, I was able to confidently find my voice in my relationship. I am grateful for that.
There are many reasons why women are not equals in their relationship, but so much of it comes down to self esteem. If you struggle, Google articles on how you can build, develop and exercise your self-esteem muscle, and you will begin to find your voice too, little by little.
That said, I still want my husband to open the door for me, send me flowers on our anniversary, pay for date night, send me love notes, and do other chivalrous acts. I am a proud feminist, love earning my own money, and am very much an equal in my marriage, but I still enjoy being treated like a queen once in a while. Hello! I still want to be dominated and passive in my marriage sometimes too. I can’t be an alpha all the time. You might not agree, but that’s my own personal comfort level.
Equality with Other Women
I will be blunt here: don’t you find that sometimes it’s other women who are the most critical of other women? And what I have found is, it’s often the women who don’t risk, or who haven’t taken a chance and fallen yet, who are the most guilty of this “judgey” behavior. Yes, after working with thousands of women around the world as a life coach, speaker, author, and entrepreneur, I can tell you, it’s the people who are out there risking, falling or failing, and then trying to get back up, who judge others the least.
Anyone who risks, is humbled by life. And they ain’t as quick to judge.
So, we have to circle back to that good ol’ self esteem. When you are a woman in your own skin, empowered, in charge, you don’t trash-talk, or belittle, or body shame, or get off on other people’s woes. You lift others up. You encourage your friends. You get happy for other people’s success.
I get it, though. I totally do. We are only human. When our lives feel dark, or feel like we don’t have much good going on at the moment, we can be tempted to judge others quickly. But I urge us all, to put our finger back in our pocket, and get to work. Work on ourselves. Work on our own lives.
We also must be each others’ cheerleaders. We must fix each other’s crowns.
So on Women’s Equality Day, I’d love us all to find our power and our voice in all facets of our daily lives: at work, in our relationships, and with each other.
And then go teach THAT to our daughters.
What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?