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equality for women

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders. ~Sheryl Sandberg

And when that day arrives, we’ll have no more need for today’s International Women’s Day, an observance that began in 1909 to commemorate the bold struggle for women’s rights.

Lots of work is needed to reach that milestone. Women’s issues need to become business issues. Women, men, and organizations need to work together to make respect, inclusion, and equity real for all. Women and men need to push for faster progress.

I’ve taken my five dreams for women and combined them with action items from the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2017 web site. See what on this list calls to you to make a difference.

Dream #1…a woman can be outspoken without being labeled a bitch and a man can be compassionate without being labeled a wimp.

IWD actionchampaign bias and inequality and work to:

• Query all-male speaking panels

• Pull people up on exclusive language

• Challenge stereotypes

• Call it out when women are excluded

• Monitor the gender pay gap

• Point out bias and highlight alternatives

• Call for diverse candidate shortlists

• Embrace inclusive leadership

• Redefine the status quo

Dream #2…just as many women as men are Fortune 500 company CEOs and that men no longer earn $1.22 to the 78¢ a woman earns.

IWD action…I’ll forge women’s advancement and work to:

• Decide to buy from companies that support women

• Choose to work for a progressive employer for women

• Support or back a woman-owned business

• Take a junior female colleague to a major meeting or event

• Build conducive, flexible work environments

• Appoint a woman to the board

• Mentor a woman and sponsor her goals

• Invite women into situations where they’re not already present or contributing

• Measure and report on gender parity gaps and keep gender on the agenda

• Create new opportunities for women

Dream #3…sex trafficking, domestic and other violence, stereotypes, and gender-driven discrimination have gone the way of the dinosaurs (along with the old boy network, too).

IWD action…I’ll campaign against violence and work to:

• Educate youth about positive relationships

• Challenge those who justify perpetrators and blame victims

• Donate to groups fighting abuse

• Speak out against the silence of violence

• Be vigilant and report violence

• Campaign for the prevention of violence

• Abstain from all violence, physical and otherwise

• Volunteer your help at a local charity

• Recognize coercive control and redress it

Dream #4…women no longer have to choose between being competent and being liked and that they, like men, are evaluated on both their future potential and past performance.

IWD action…I’ll celebrate women’s achievement and work to:

• Raise women’s visibility as spokespeople in the media

• Drive fairer recognition and credit for women’s contributions

• Launch even more awards showcasing women’s success

• Hail the success of women leaders

• Applaud social, economic, cultural and political women role models

• Celebrate women’s journeys and the barriers overcome

• Reinforce and support women’s triumphs

Dream #5…women are judged not by their attractiveness or bra size but by the strength of their character and contributions.

IWD action…I’ll champion women’s education and work to:

• Launch or fund a women-focused scholarship

• Encourage more girls into STEM education and careers

• Learn to code

• Value diversity for greater educational outcomes

• Support women inventors of new products and services

• Celebrate women researchers discovering new knowledge

There’s lots of opportunities to make a difference for yourself, your children, grandchildren, colleagues, and women everywhere in this list.

Pick any and all that call to your passion for respect, equity, and inclusion…and work to make it so! How will you be bold today?


Image source:  Pixabay