Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day

Although it feels like lately there is a day celebrating everything from Barbie (that's tomorrow) to buzzards (next week), I can certainly get behind a day that wants to focus on the largest unsung minority: women.

If anything, International Women's Day has started a dialogue about women in the workplace, an issue that is near and dear to me because, frankly, sexism is all too prevalent in American offices these days. My husband often asks me why, at this level in my career, I could ever be "insecure" at work. Well, it's because:

  • I've been asked to "wait outside" so that my male counterparts can talk about financial information I'm apparently not privileged to hear as a partner in my company.
  • I've walked into a meeting only to have someone ask, "How old are you?" as if I'm not supposed to be there in the first place.
  • I've heard talk about the men in one of my past companies ranking the female employees by asset... and I'm not talking about business acumen. 

For these reasons and many others, one of things I believe in more strongly than ever is that women need to support other women for their choices. I have such admiration for women who can do it all: simultaneously maintain successful careers while raising children. I knew that was something I could not do, so I opted to focus on my business, Local Marketing, Inc. My sister, Laura, chose her boys over her teaching career, and I think she works harder than anyone I know.

She is currently trying to sell Rodan + Fields skincare products to make some extra money, but her top priority is her children, Reid and Cole. I have so much respect for her, and I know she, in turn, respects the choices that I have made.

I couldn't let today pass without signaling, in some way, just how difficult it can be to survive as a woman in a world where we have celebrities posting naked selfies and television entertainment includes a cacophony of battling materialistic housewives. Let's just hope that -- someday -- we won't need a day to remember the contributions of women everywhere.