Sue was reflecting on last week’s International Women’s Day (8 March) as a day of celebration and her top 3 reasons for celebrating.
Every year on International Women’s Day, statistics are published which show how far there is still to go to achieve gender parity across the world and in the UK. For example, the World Economic Forum estimates that at current rates world gender parity will not be achieved until 2133 and the UK are behind Nicaragua, Bulgaria and Burundi in this area. However, from a personal viewpoint, I want to take a moment to celebrate what I’ve already achieved and how women’s equality has had a positive impact on my life.
1. My career opportunities
Being in the twilight of my working career (I hit 50 this year, though I am trying to forget this as much as I can!), I’ve worked in several industry sectors from Financial Services and International Charity to Education and Management Consultancy. Not once have I been overlooked for a promotion or development opportunity due to my gender. In fact, I have encountered nothing but being treated fairly as an individual and assessed on my own merits and capabilities (or lack of them sometimes!) regardless of my gender, age or any other demographic. Surely this is reason enough to celebrate.
2. Social life
I feel very fortunate that when I’ve had key decisions to make, choice has always been available; even if I’ve made a few mistakes along the way (just a few!). Do I go to university or apply for a job? Do I buy a house or rent? Do I get married or not? Each decision has never been limited by any gender inequalities. In all honesty I have to admit to taking for granted that I have these options, when I could be celebrating the freedom I have to choose.
3. Being Proud
I’m a working woman in England in the 21st Century and extremely happy and proud to be one. I may not be a famous female astronaut or prime minister. I may not have sailed round the world singled handedly or won an Olympic gold medal (come on Sue, you did win a wheelbarrow race once!) but this does not lessen the contentment and satisfaction I feel to be a woman; free to make my own choices, live my life in peace and make my own mistakes including the occasional dippy moment!!
Maybe you have your own reasons the celebrate. Whatever they are, I hope you joined me in celebrating International Women’s Day.