#FridayThoughts | International Womens Day
This weeks #FridayThoughts is going to be a little bit different. As it was International Women’s Day on Wednesday I thought that I’d dedicate this week’s post to my favourite IWD campaigns, influential women within the industry and some things that we wouldn’t have without women.
International Women’s Day has been around since the early 1900’s and even though we’re fighting a different battle than what women were then, there’s still so much to fight for women around the world. IWD stands for women who are denied education, denied progression in their careers and even denied the basic rights we take for granted in day to day life.
You can find out more about IWD here.
As this year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange Ruj and I decided to share our bold for change pledges this year:
I’ve never felt like being a girl has held me back or given me less chances but I hope as I progress in my career so do women’s opportunities within the world of work.
It doesn’t deter me, but I have received comments in previous jobs like “you must only work here because you’re pretty” or on days where I chose sleeping in later over wearing makeup I would get comments like “can’t you make more of an effort” or “you would think she would look good for work.” Why can’t women be hired for their abilities? Their passions? Am I just something that’s hired to stand there and look cute? What if I didn’t want to ‘look good’ in your eyes but instead come to do what I was hired for regardless of whether I have a face full of makeup or not.
I feel confident and empowered enough to do things that make me happy and not what everybody else would ‘expect’ from a woman. If I would rather have an extra hour in bed than put makeup on one day, why shouldn’t I? I will still have the same talents and abilities as I would when I have made more of an effort visually.
Being comfortable and confident within yourself and doing what makes you happy is something I always try and pass on to my younger siblings. In a Digital Age where it’s so easy to look online and aspires to live another life, I try to reassure them that they can be anything they want to be and should be and above anything else, themselves.
More and more young women are going to university and graduating with degrees which is resulting in more entry-level jobs and low-level management roles, however little progress at the top. In the US only 14% of the top corporate jobs are held by women and only 17% of the board seats are held by women, this has not changed in ten years. This is 10 years of slow progress despite the increase in women going onto further education.
We make up 70% of global consumer spending. Surely a raise in women in higher positions would result in a better reflection on buyers habits? Studies have shown that more diverse teams boost creativity, cognitive flexibility and increases success rates. I feel industries would benefit a great deal by taking this on board.
Women earn on average 18% less than men. Maternity leave is often seen as a burden. Women in charge are often seen as ‘bossy,’ yet when given the opportunity, females can do amazing things.
Take some of these influential women in Social Media who have proved if you’re dedicated and don’t let prejudice hold you back you can achieve whatever you set your mind to:
Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, previous VP of Google and one of the US’ youngest billionaires at 47 years old. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t even actively looking for somebody to fill the role of COO but met Sheryl and decided she was the perfect candidate. She went on to make Facebook profitable when she joined in 2008, introducing and pushing the idea of Ad’s into the platform.
“Feeling confident—or pretending that you feel confident—is necessary to reach for opportunities. It’s a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.” – Sheryl Sandberg.
Hisaka is the Head of Global Content Marketing for LinkedIn. Her love for copywriting has brought her job roles at PayPal and Salesforce, and now her current position at LinkedIn. In 2015 alone, she was named a ‘Top 25 Enterprise Software Content Marketer to Watch’ and one of the ‘Top 100 Social Selling Influencers.’
She prides herself in having passion in her role and encourages others to have that same passion in order to succeed.
“Passion is everything. Make a living doing what you love and you’ll go a long way.”- Alex Hisaka.
Lisa is the Associate Director of Social Media for Whole Foods Market. Grimm is an integrated marketing communications leader with a passion for building relationships between brands and customers through the combination of technology and communications. She has many specialities including digital strategy, social media strategy and community management.
“It’s the courage to try things—because they excite you, because you’re curious about them, because you believe in them, because you see an opportunity—that matter in the end. Speak up in that meeting, ask questions, pitch that crazy idea, read your face off to understand complex things because it will make you smarter, care about others and your work.” – Lisa Grimm.
I came across this video when researching for this blog post and even though it wasn’t released for IWD I thought it was thought provoking and telling of the world we live in.
I worry I will be in a position where I have to compromise my career for having a family and whilst I’m a long way off that I feel that I won’t receive chances to progress in fear I’ll leave to raise a child. Why should I have to choose between being a mother or being successful?
‘The Voice US’ celebrated IWD by sharing a glimpse into their production team. With a predominantly female team the ladies say they feel proud and empowered to be a part of the process. In a mainly male profession it’s refreshing to see a female-led team!
Last year, Google created a campaign for International Women’s Day called #OneDayIWill. Women and girls from around the world told their dreams of what they will do one day. It’s inspiring to see the passion women have and not letting adversity stop them from dreaming!
One of my favourites came from Western Union. Their IWD 2017 video was all about the impact education can make on young women.
Women have always empowered me. My Instagram feed is full of the women that inspire and I think the same goes for a lot of girls of my generation. The female race are becoming more united, more accepting and more true to themselves. We are identifying moreso with other females within our networks, be they social or in real-life, rather than complying with some of the previous social standards which have been in place.
They don’t want to see the airbrushed model on a magazine cover when they follow a girl on Twitter who looks just like them and is successful. Check out this post where I explored this topic a bit further.
Here at WinMedia, it was great to see the guys getting involved and making their pledges on IWD too! It felt positive and reassuring that we are asking the right questions and that I work alongside a team who are supportive of the cause!
To end this week’s #FridayThoughts I thought I’d add some things we wouldn’t have without women!
- Beer! Even though beer is mainly targeted at men these days you can thank women for bringing it into the world. According to research the earliest evidence of beer in the UK dates back thousands of years and was made at home where women were the primary brewers!
- WiFi! Yes, you’ve got women to thank for this too. WiFi would not have been possible without actress, Hedy Lemarr, who after growing tired of Hollywood spent her time doing science experiments. In an effort to help Allies during WW2, Hedy presented the US Navy with a patent on a spread-spectrum radio, which is seen as the forebear to the WiFi we know and love now.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies! This one was an accident, but Baker Ruth Wakefield was baking a batch of cookies when she realised she had ran out of baker’s chocolate. She decided to substitute it with broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to absorb into the dough and create chocolate cookies. That didn’t happen, but the surprising result helped to make Ruth Wakefield one of the 20th century’s most famous women inventors. When she removed the pan from the oven, Wakefield realized that she had accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies.
Check out this video to see just how far women have come and some more inventions we can thank women for.
I hope you enjoyed this twist on #FridayThoughts. I’ll be back next week with another post!
“Here’s to strong women- may we raise them, may we know them, may we be them.”