Is International Women’s Day still needed?

IWDMarch 8 rolled around again. Another International Women’s Day. I wondered to myself as I was listening to the youngest ever MP, (a women whop entered parliament in the 1970’s), on the radio,  ‘why do we still need it?’.

Then I quickly cast my mind back to when I created my manifesto for Corporate Crossovers. I wanted to bring forth amazing role models of successful women entrepreneurs in the UK, and globally to inspire my thinking.

So, I sat down at my keyboard, and nothing happened. My mind was blank. It was easy for me to tap off Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, but where were the women in the top of my consciousness? I realised that I too, thought first of men as entrepreneurs and captains of industry, not women.

Ugh! Had I been brainwashed? Why did I think first of them, when my passion is to enable women to work in a way that is right for them – whether that be starting their own business, or re-engineering their corporate life.  I want women to be inspired and to feel that they can create and lead a significant enterprise on their terms. No longer do we need to be constrained by traditional work cultures. I wanted to change the way work works!

Growing up in New Zealand, I had significant role models to lift my thinking – we were the first country in the world to give women the vote, we had not just one, but two women Prime Ministers, and a women Governor General. Incredible role models for gender equality.

Yet, my paradigm for entrepreneurial success was infused with men, not women. So too is the paradigm of the media. Why more male ‘dragons’ or ‘sharks’ than women? Why, still, more male business owners on the cover of entrepreneurial magazines and our business pages than women? Why, still, a staggering imbalance of male FTSE 100 CEOs vs. women?

Maybe it is easily captured by the Huffington Post blog page from Cherie Blair which eloquently sets forth what we need to focus on for change in women globally only to be surrounded by click bait of bubblegum posts objectifying women…’15 most beautiful women ‘ anyone?

Thankfully, there is change. I eagerly anticipate the day when we have true equality – that is demonstrated in the numbers and in the deep value set of all. Not just a superficial play at the ‘diversity’ issue to keep everyone happy.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is MAKE IT HAPPEN.

We can all make this change happen wherever we are, whatever we do. The smallest actions repeated again and again always have the biggest impact over time. Think of the isthmus that is now an island – years of repeated pounding by the waves changed the landscape.

We can do this too.

  Please, I would love your comments on this day of celebration and cause.

 

  • http://www.winningpathwayscoaching.com Claudia

    Great post Wendy. I can identify with your paradigm for entrepreneurial success and I too specialise in working with women. This is exactly why International Women’s Day is still needed. And why I write about my Page 1 Women. When we change that paradigm and start thinking of both genders when we think of successful scientists, MPs, composers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, judges ……I could go on, then we won’t need a special day to celebrate the achievements of women and to highlight our struggles.

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