It’s International Women’s Day. Every year when this day rolls around I start feeling really conflicted. It is one day. One day to “recognize” women and ignore them the other 364 days a year.
Personally, I’ve never done well with the notion that there are jobs and roles for men, separate from women. I know I’m not alone in thinking this. As a kid growing up in a neighborhood with all boys, I did whatever they did. I got dirty, I (poorly) played sports, I built things. I also played with my dolls, had tea parties, and loved frilly things. I didn’t see a difference in one activity versus another. It was whatever I felt like doing at the time – that’s what I did.
Fast forward to being an adult. I got my first cold hard reality slap across the face when I started working full-time. My eyes were opened to pay gaps, lack of accountability, and different treatment depending on what gender you were.
Let me tell you, I had a really hard time accepting any of it. I was branded a troublemaker for speaking out and speaking up. I was told that I was too aggressive, too assertive, too bossy. I constantly broke the rules because I would step out of line to do what was needed versus what was asked. I was forever being counseled by my boss to “settle down” and “have patience”.
I didn’t want to settle down. I didn’t want to be patient. I wanted to do things I saw my male counterparts doing. I knew I could do the same things. I knew I could do them better.
When Chris and I started Trust Insights, we considered trying to get funding. We were constantly told “no” because I was going to be in charge. A female CEO? You’ll never make it. Needless to say, we decided we’d be better off without funding and continued to do things our way.
A few years back we were at an event, talking with vendors about their software. I was standing behind Chris since we was doing the talking. The vendor asked me if I would schedule time on Chris’ behalf and Chris piped up and said “She’s not my assistant, she’s the CEO”.
The long-winded point is that there will always be people who determine your value based on your gender. Male or female, we will all face this at some point.
As a woman, I recognize the need to celebrate days like International Women’s Day. Women don’t get as much credit as they deserve for the things they do. Even in 2022 this is still true. We are STILL paid less, we’re under valued, we’re seen as weaker and more emotional. Quite honestly, it’s all bullshit. We work just as hard – harder to make up for feeling “less than”, we’re stronger for all the crap we put up with, and we’re empathetic.
I would love to see women being celebrated every single day. I would love to see men being celebrated every single day. I would love to see humans in general, regardless of gender, being celebrated every single day. It shouldn’t matter who you are or how you identify. Sadly, it still does.
From me to you – I don’t care about your gender. I care about you and what you do. I celebrate all of your successes, failures, ups and down, and milestones. I celebrate you. Everyday.