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As we close out our celebration of Women’s History Month, we reflect on all of the great strides women have made over the years to overcome challenges and reduce the equity gap. This dates back to 1789 when the U.S. Constitution was ratified and terms such as “persons” and “people” allowed for the interpretation of those beings to include men and women. We can track the progress through monumental changes such as Colleges and Universities becoming co-educational, granting of voting rights, to the first woman voted in to the Senate. We have seen the female-to-male earnings ratio increase over time, women moving into senior management positions and sitting on Boards of Fortune 500 companies.  We have come a long way, yet we still have to face some facts. The statistics show that women are underrepresented in leadership roles, not always paid at the same rate as our male counterparts, lack opportunities for upward mobility in organizations, and that the proverbial glass ceiling still exists.

There are numerous publications that point to these gaps that exist between men and women in the workplace and even more publications, written by both men and women, that provide “solutions” to this problem. Awareness is key to springing into action. It makes sense that we need to be aware to act, and Women’s History Month serves this exact purpose. We pause and examine where we were and where we are. What I would like to focus on is the movement forward and what is needed for our actions to result in change. Taking action is not going to result in change unless we take action consistently, purposefully and over time. Think about working out at the gym. If you do it once, it will not change your body, but if you do it purposefully and consistently over time, you will see a change. The systems we face will not change unless we are taking action consistently. Actions can be small acts that culminate in big change. Here are some ways in which we can take small actions to support and change our culture and potentially move beyond the barriers women face:

  • Increase awareness among the entire human race regardless of gender or age. This means that we point out discrepancies or perceptions of fair treatment to those around us and offer solutions that improve conditions.
  • Offer a hand up to other women coming up behind us. This means that we mentor others and share our successes and failures and not feel threatened.
  • Recognize our strengths and weaknesses and take actions that may seem risky.  This means that we value ourselves for our strengths and contributions we make and ask for help when needed.
  • Stop holding back. This means that we become less critical of ourselves and take risks that promote and highlight our accomplishments.

Change is inevitable and we can be the catalysts for positive change moving women even further as we become history. Happy Women’s History Month!


 

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