My favourite kind of Monday is the Monday of a short week of work! Friday is St. Patrick’s Day and not only that, it’s the first day of my best friend’s hen party so I have so much to look forward to (including a whopping hangover on Sunday – I’ll be sending out SOS calls no doubt). We’re headed to Kilkenny which will be jammed to the rafters with fellow revellers but I’m most excited about getting some quality time with the girls; talking over one another, laughing until our sides hurt and basically pretending that we’re teenagers again for the weekend.
It was International Women’s Day last week and so it feels more important than ever to surround myself with the women who have influenced me the most. I am incredibly lucky to have the same group of girlfriends that I had aged 13, friendships that have endured university and living thousands of miles apart. What unites us is our loyalty to one another and how fiercely we protect the relationships that have shaped us in to the women we are today.
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was #BeBoldForChange with the aim of calling on the masses to help forge a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender pay gap won’t close entirely until 2186 – the year I would turn 198! It’s ludicrous to think that we are still campaigning for equal rights today let alone that we still can’t expect total equality for the next generation of badass women. This is why it’s more important than ever to drive these issues in all areas of our lives and lead the call for action.
Within the workplace there are plenty of opportunities in which we can be bolder and encourage change for all our female employees. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that encourages employees to network and join committees that will create mentoring opportunities. Aligning yourself with a female colleague you admire or a junior female who you feel could benefit from mentoring is a crucial way to enable gender parity issues to be more widely discussed and acknowledged.
At home be sure to educate your partner, your parents and your children on gender stereotypes, violence against women and the underrepresentation of women within politics, science and business. Our daughters, who are more likely to complete secondary education, should feel that any career is available to them and our sons should feel just as passionate about narrowing the equality gap.
It feels like we’ve gone back in time recently with recent elections – friggin’ terrifying really – but our voices are still heard especially when we shout together. Be loud ladies and gentlemen and make sure to give the IWD website a browse for more ideas on how you can be bold for change.
And with this in mind, I will be choosing not to let the following bother me this week…
Feeling Embarrassed About Voicing My Opinion
I usually shy from confrontation but I want to be braver at pointing out unjustness when I see it. When I overhear anything which encourages sexist ideals I won’t cower but voice what I feel is right.
Accepting Women-Bashing Behaviour
Women supporting one another is so necessary for change and we should be lifting each other up, not tearing one another down. If I witness this behaviour I will not be silent especially when it’s on a social forum where nastiness can breed freely.
Taking My Full Time Job For Granted
Only half of the world’s working-age women are in the labor force compared to around 77% of working-age men. I am lucky that I live in a society where full time employment is accessible – next up is fair pay!
My Choice of Clothes
I will dress exactly how I want to and appreciate how lucky I am to freely express myself through fashion. With more extremist views emerging, women from Muslim communities do not feel as free to dress how they like according to their own values. All women should dress for themselves, not for any man or woman.
Be Complacent In My Education
I will not worry about not knowing enough but instead use this as a fuel to learn more. Read more studies, sign more petitions and be more vocal in my day-to-day life. It’s the little changes we make that can make the biggest difference.
Wishing you all a lovely week ahead and please share the ways in which you are being bold for change!