“I’m more than a mum”
“I was once asked to come back with my husband when I questioned the paint colour match on the respray of my car door”
“I own the power tools and the heels in my house”
“I was labelled a ‘blond’, but actually I did alright in school”
“It frustrates me that women should compete against each other and are often pitted against each other”
These are some of the responses we received from the women in the Creed office when we asked them how they have experienced bias as women.
Women are more than the labels of prejudice. We are strong and caring, ambitious, and selfless, leaders and supporters, and we straddle the paradoxes of what it means to claim our space in this world each day. We are not defined by the stereotypes or social constraints of an outdated system, yet we are often limited by them.
I recently listened to a podcast by Brené Brown where she discussed employee activism with Megan Reitz and John Higgins, in the discussion Brené said the problem is often not finding a voice for the voiceless but rather ears for the earless. I thought, “this is exactly what we are fighting for on days like IWD, finding ears for the earless and amplifying the voices that are often not heard as a result”
International Women’s Day is a celebration of the women who have gone before us and paved new roads for us and a reminder to all women that it is possible to do so. Women such as Kamala Harris (Vice President United States) – The First Woman, and the first African American to hold the post, Christine Lagarde – The first woman to head the European Central Bank, Tsai Ing-Wen – the first female leader of Taiwan, Rosalind Brewer – The ONLY Black woman at the helm of an S&P 500 company, to name but a few. Yet it would be unfair to diminish their achievements to a list of “first of” and “only” – these women are driving change and have given others a reason to believe in the possible, but we are not done.
Women all over the world are fighting to claim more of the space that is rightfully ours, to be respected, to be safe and to be heard. The Forbes 100 most powerful woman list of 2021 includes 40 CEOs, the most since 2015 and although it has not been all wins for women in the last year, we are gaining ground and each time one women smashes a glass ceiling, we prove to other woman and girls that it can be done.
On days like today I am humbled and grateful to the women who have paved a way before me, those that fought for the right to education for women so that I could have the opportunity to learn, those that fought for the right to vote so that I may have a say, those that fought for woman to have a place at work and continue to do so, so that I may have a career, those that take a stand against violence against women and girls so that I may feel safe. Those that are continuously brave in the face of discrimination and danger and continue to push for equality which in many parts of the world is still in its infancy.
We have a long way to go before we live in a world of equity but today is an opportunity to look at how far we’ve come and look ahead to all that is still possible when we stand together, not only as women but even more so when we invite men in to be our allies.
May today be a reminder to everyone of the power of women, the work that has been done and the work that still needs to be done.
Man or women, celebrate with the women around you that inspire you.
And Break the Bias.
Kayla Pickbourn & Alex Broad