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Archive for March 8th, 2019

Happy International Women’s Day!

I love being a woman, been raised by an amazing woman, have raised a couple of women, work with and for a number of women.

I do believe that if we can find our strength, our confidence and our comfortability in our own skin, we can do just about anything we set our minds to.

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceforBetter. On the IWD website it says, of balance:

“We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.”

The idea of this theme is, perhaps, a bit more applicable to women in developed, as opposed to developing countries, where women’s struggles are, perhaps, more foundational. It applies to “gender-balance in business, government, media, wealth, sports coverage, etc.”

I am old enough to have seen changes in our world, regarding this desired balance. I remember when leaders in all areas of society were men. Women have worked hard to achieve positions of leadership and visibility.

I am young enough to have not known what it was to be persecuted for my gender (other than once … and that was by another woman … but that is a story for another day). Over twenty years ago I worked as a Drafstman for a well-established Engineering company. It wasn’t until recent years that I realized I was their only (and first) woman hired in that position. I just knew that I was thrilled to have gotten a job there.

For me (and I know that there are other narratives out there that tell a very different story), being a woman has never hindered me, my goals, my future. I know that part of that has to do with who I am, how I interpret events in my life. I also know that I am blessed, benefitting every day, from the women who went before me, paving the way of balance for myself.

Recently, while assisting a high school student on an assignment, I was introduced to Pink Teas. In the early 1900s, as women, in Canada, were striving for the freedom to vote (and, first, to be recognized as ‘persons’) they found that through organizing these ‘Pink teas’ … women-only events, complete with lace doilies and finger foods … more women were able (allowed) to attend, and the events would not be interrupted by opponents.

These events, and the work of the Famous Five (Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards) resulted in England’s Privy Council declaring that, indeed, women are persons. Lord Sankey declaring “The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours.”

Balance is better, better for all people. And balance is best achieved when the door is opened to us all to achieve our place in business, government and society by our merits, our hard work, our giftedness.

Perhaps, in Canada today, our greatest example of female leadership is a woman who has spoken up and stepped down from a position of power, out of personal integrity, out of knowing that her position (provided for out of balance) is not as important as truth.

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