International Women’s Day is observed each year on March 8th. Each time it comes around, I’m reminded of how truly awesome women are and how far we’ve come throughout history. Despite any odds we may face, we continue to rise to the top. While we still can’t be pope, today’s women are leading corporations and countries, making significant scientific discoveries and raising future generations to carry on the tradition.
As an undergraduate, I took a few women’s history courses. Before these classes, I really didn’t have a solid understanding of women’s roles in communities throughout the world, where they’ve been and how far they’ve come. How amazing are we, right?! A great resource for women’s history is Biography.com. They have a pretty cool timeline as well. The Gender Inequality Index is a go-to resource, for sure.
I personally feel very fortunate. There have only been a few occasions where I’ve felt gender inequality. I felt it when the first recruiter I spoke to after graduating told me I should wear more lipstick if I wanted my interview to go well. I felt it when I earned the title of “abrasive” after expressing my opinion to a team of engineers in China. I feel it sometimes as a mother trying to juggle a career and family life.
Speaking of women in business, key findings in a study just released include:
- 56% of S&P 100 companies have no women or minorities in their highest-paid senior executive positions. With each step up the corporate ladder, a woman’s chances of taking the next step up decreases.
- 19% of S&P 100 board of director members are women, which equates to only 8% of the highest paid executives.
- 98% of S&P 100 companies have women directors, and 86 companies have minority directors. However, only 37 companies in the S&P 100 have minority women on their boards.
- 19% of S&P 100 board members are women, which is an increase from 18% in 2010.
- 30 companies have added at least one woman to their boards since 2010.
The bottom line is that real inequality is a real problem in many parts of the world. If there’s a day each year that stimulates discussion and continued progress, then it’s a good thing… My daughter has much to look forward to!
Here’s some inspiration for us all:
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” ―Madonna
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.” -Audrey Hepburn