Women should celebrate being women – buy a fun new outfit, go out and toast their age-old mystique and whatever powers and talents men have always known or feared that females possess. Or go see Wonder Woman!! They can still enjoy Dress for Success while they #PressforSuccess.
And Hooray for #IWD, started by the Suffragettes in 1911. But yet over 100 years later, the International Women’s Day website still holds that nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men (https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/international-womens-day). Yet, diminishing women has meant not taking advantage of 50% of the world’s available brain power.
In the 1950s and 60s, many girls studied science/math in high school but went into teaching, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and retail. Their expectations were set by the norms of the day.
Fewer pursued Ph.D.s, LLBs, MDs, DDSs, CPAs, actuarial careers, with a way thicker glass ceiling than now.
Things have changed, and yet, as you know, in 2020, many issues remain:
1. The gender wage gap – up to 30 or 40 %.
2. Fewer Women on corporate boards: 15-25% representation.
3. Gender inequality in politics.
4. STEM –Acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math – still lacks women.
Signs of hope:
1. Present and future female business leaders: A fantastic new generation of young Canadian women, in fields such as banking, finance, airlines, insurance, not-for-profit, part of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women of 2019 (https://www.investmentexecutive.com/news/people/wxn-announces-canadas-most-powerful-women/), as well as the World’s most powerful women (https://www.forbes.com/power-women/#1cfd4f305e25). Articles well worth reading.
2. Female ‘political’ leaders: The UK, Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Norway, Bangladesh, Chile, Poland, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, etc. all have or have had female leaders. Here in Canada both ON and AB have ben led by women, and we did enjoy Kim Campbell as our first female Prime Minister.
3. University initiatives aimed at middle or high school girls: A number of U California (UC) schools e.g. UCSD (San Diego) have started Pre-College programs in a wide variety of STEM sciences for students in grades 5-12 to explore challenging areas (https://extension.ucsd.edu/courses-and-programs/pre-college). The Society for Women Engineers runs courses strictly for girls (https://bit.ly/2tzloUR)).
4. People like Malala.
Women are visible, talented, capable, but still fighting that invisible, tangible glass ceiling. But they are on the map, partway there, with GPSs pointing to where they want to go. Women are on the train and will not get off – aided by the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. (Women Leaders Needed, Financial Post, March 8, 2018), and mass/social media. Tell your daughters they can achieve whatever they want to achieve, and they will.