Originally called International Working Women’s Day, the history of this celebration goes all the way back to 1908, and rose out of the movement for women’s equal rights in the workplace.
While the official theme of the event this year is Be Bold for Change, this year’s rallying cry could well have been “she was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless, she persisted”. The rebuking and silencing of US senator Elizabeth Warren, by her colleagues, is a reminder to us all of the many ways that women feel invisible and silenced in their workplaces and in their lives. And yet, so many are looking for ways to be bold, to be heard, and to elevate and empower others. In the face of both systemic and individual bias, conscious and unconscious, women are persisting, refusing to give up, seeking new ways to be seen and heard, and to be influential.
As individuals, women are taking control of their own career paths, through training and development, through seeking meaningful mentors and sponsors. We are mentoring and amplifying the voices of other women. We are building, sustaining and promoting meaningful employee resource groups. We are speaking up and leaning in. We are asking for raises and promotions. We are persisting.
What does persistence mean to you this year?
I’d love to hear from you how you’ve been celebrating in your workplaces, and often supported by your organizations.
Be bold. Be seen. Be heard.