When you hear Women and Equality in the same sentence, what do you think of? Is it how women are treated differently in the workplace than men? Is it how they’re statistically proven to earn significantly less than their male counterparts? Is it the double standards placed upon women regarding their bodies and sexuality? Regardless of what comes to mind, the fact is women are treated differently and have been since, well pretty much forever.
Women’s Equality Day is a day used to commemorate the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote…well white women that is. African American women wouldn’t get this privilege until many years later. While much has changed since then, there are many things that are still painfully identical. In 2021, according to Payscale women still only earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same labor and experience. While to some this discrepancy isn’t that large, it’s still a gap, nonetheless. African American women also still earn less than their Caucasian counterparts in the workplace because just as before, progression in women’s equality is not synonymous with racial equality.
It isn’t all bad though, there has been some astounding progression in women’s equity when it comes to the workforce. Women have been kicking down doors in male dominated fields for a long time and we’re finally starting to see the result of that hard work and determination. It’s no secret that women must work twice as hard to get into those high positions that men hold, or even just to get in the door for a position that a woman has never held before. The most notable now of course, Kamala Harris being the first woman Vice President of the United States of America, not to mention being a WOC as well. Becky Hammon became the woman head coach in NBA history in December of 2020. Stacy Cunningham became the first female president of the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. Every one of these women share something in common, being the first woman to do something; Many decades overdue but I say it’s a cause for celebration regardless.
So where do you go from here? I say let’s keep this momentum going because we can only go up from here. I challenge anyone who has women in their family, identifies as a woman, or even loves women to go forth and be an advocate for those you see trying to open doors for themselves or others. Sometimes the key to unlocking those doors are held within those around us and we need their help. To truly reach a point where women are equal on all levels and have access to as many opportunities as others, we must see them for all that they do, are, and provide. Managers should encourage and support the women on their teams, helping them reach their career goals and letting them know they won’t be seen or treated any differently than anyone else.