Thoughts on International Women's Day
It's International Women's Day and, though Spitfire doesn't work with women, per se, our goal is that each girl we serve will grow into a tenacious, authentic, resilient, curious and empathic woman, so we can also claim this day as our own!
Like every other professional who serves women and girls, I spent the morning in a wonderful International Women's Day conference. The panelists' stories were moving, the moderator dug deep and took the conversation into honest territory (which is usually a good thing and I think it resonated today), the attendees were engaged and inspired, and the coffee was plentiful. By all measures, it was a very successful event.
But, still, I walked away wanting. This is a hot take, and maybe not universally appreciated, but there were several moments when I found myself thinking that we were having the same conversation in that room that my predecessors in this space were having in the 90s, and possibly even before. "How do you find balance in the midst of your many roles?", "How do you navigate being a woman in a male-dominated field?", and... I know you're going to be shocked, but we even heard "Why are female bosses more aggressive than their male counterparts?"
Stepping out of my perspective in my roles as a female entrepreneur/mother/wife/feminist, and into my role as a mentor and empowerer of young girls, I'm worried. We're still talking about this stuff? My Spitfire girls are still going to have to learn the delicate art of having an opinion without being perceived as a threat? Seriously?!?!
I think I expected to leave the event feeling proud of the work we're doing and the progress we've made since I first entered the girls' empowerment scene ten years ago. And in many ways, I did. But mostly I'm reminded of the work that's left to do.
Poet Rupi Kaur captures this sentiment so beautifully:
i stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking what can i do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther - legacy
So, at the close of International Women's Day 2019, let's all recommit to the road ahead. To building a world where we offer men and women of every background and identity the same opportunities and the same expectations: make the most of your strengths, be kind, leave it better than you found it.