I’m working late again. No surprises there. As a woman in business I often find myself pushing well past my comfort zone and known (healthy) capacity in order to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself and my businesses. We women rarely prioritise ourselves. That’s actually what I’m trying to do now as I type this at the end of another eventful International Women’s Day. This year I marked the occasion by participating in a radio talk show hosted by a friend/mentor of mine Charlene Pedro on THE L.A.B. Radio, the topic we discovered mirrored International Women’s Day’s theme of Embracing Equity. One of the issues we discussed was claiming your power.
I’ve been thinking about this all day. I’ve been asking myself, “How do we as female business owners/leaders claim our power in a world that doesn’t always welcome or facilitate our presence?” Especially when you’re operating in a sector that is male dominated, like mine.
My answer is simple, keep doing what you’re doing anyway, don’t wait to be invited to the table, don’t wait for permission. The women in whose honour we celebrate IWD didn’t stop what they were doing and they certainly didn’t get permission, equity was not something they were offered. They grabbed it forcibly, and forcefully took what equality and freedom they wanted, when they had to, in order to see progress and a measurable shift towards equality of treatment. I think this generation of women, female business owners in particular, can do no less.
So in order to honour them I’ve decided to identify one area of my life that I can live more authentically, where I can push for more equity and equality (they aren’t the same) so that not only my life, but that of the woman next to me becomes a bit more bearable, joyful and successful.
I’ll leave you with this African proverb, “If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.”
Let us honour those who went before us by doing our best to stand tall.
Happy International Women’s day, today and everyday.