International Women’s Day 2023

Happy International Women’s Day! March 8 every year is International Women’s Day and this is the fourth year I’ve written about this day.

This year’s campaign theme is Embrace Equity. And the best quote I read on the difference between equality and equity has been this:

“Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits”

There are some really interesting and thought-provoking articles online and of course on the International Women’s Day website itself. And I’d like to share my experiences this year on embracing equity.

Work held a panel discussion that was really insightful and inspiring. Four women from different sister companies, from different departments, and from different stages of their lives shared their thoughts and experiences in the workplace.

My main takeaway from this panel discussion is that life isn’t a zero-sum game. My understanding of zero-sum game is a situation where one person’s gain is another person’s loss.

It could be argued that raising women up (the gain) brings men down (the loss). But I feel life is so much more nuanced than that. Life isn’t a pie where one chunk is taken from one person and given to another.

Raising women up can also raise men up. Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated:

“It is not women’s liberation, it is women’s and men’s liberation”

Advocating for better maternity leave in the workplace can also open up the dialogue to advocate for better paternity leave in the workplace too. Men can advocate for maternity leave in the workplace just as much as women can advocate for paternity leave in the workplace too.

Another brilliant takeaway from this panel discussion was how to effectively offer support. Interestingly, a male colleague asked one panel member if she wanted him to speak on her behalf; to which she replied: no. Instead, she asked the male colleague to open up the space so that she could speak on her own behalf. I thought that was very powerful.

I love my work, I love my workplace, and I love these colleagues who are willing to share their experiences and insights. I found the panel discussion so empowering and the energy from these women was so inspiring to me.

I’ll leave you with another nugget from the panel discussion that was mentioned relating to mentorship:

“You can’t be what you can’t see”

I hope, dear readers, you see powerful and inspiring women in your lives. If not, I hope you can become one yourself or open up the space for someone else to.

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