Today is International Women’s Day, a cause centred on feminism and a day established to celebrate female achievement and reinforce the quest of achieving true female equality. Feminism, equality & female empowerment is something I personally believe in and back whole heartedly, the sentiment of female empowerment really is at the heart of my blog and all the career tips I write … I really believe the opportunity is yours for the taking, whether you’re male or female.
Feminism? “Men think it’s a women’s word and it’s only for women, but really it just means you stand for equality. If you believe in equality, you’re a feminist. Sorry to tell you.” Emma Watson
Feminism, despite the incredible changes the movement has helped create (especially that achieved by the suffragettes & suffragists in the 1900’s), has been tarred in the past with feminists seen as man hating activists or “screeching bra burning lesbians with hairy legs and armpits that castrate men for fun” ... but thankfully in today’s age most people understand feminism is actually about equality (equal opportunity, equal rights & equal treatment for both men and women). And if you’re still not sure, then please go and read or watch Emma Watson’s UN talk ‘HeForShe’ on the matter, follow Sheryl Sandberg & her pledge for parity, watch the This Girl Can ad created by Always, or even better watch Makers content series all about female achievement & equality (I love Kathrine Switzer’s story).
I for one am a huge believer in equality. For me it’s a fundamental right that we should all have (male or female), what we do with it is our choice, but ensuring we have equal rights and equal opportunities feels like an absolute no brainer, and International Women’s Day is simply an opportunity for us to celebrate all that has been done to date to drive equality across the world.
So in honour of International Women’s Day I wanted to share the 3 reasons why I myself am a feminist, but also 3 reasons why embracing feminism can help you achieve success in your life and in your career.
3 WAYS FEMINISM CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE CAREER SUCCESS
Believing the world is your oyster
Feminism is all about equal opportunity and equal rights, and I personally believe we should all be entitled to an equal opportunity no matter our race, religion or gender.
By believing that you as a female (or a male) have the same opportunity as anyone else out there, you’re more likely to put yourself forward for opportunities, have confidence and self belief and carve a career that best fits your ambition, your goals and your skills. Whether that’s CEO of Facebook, a fantastic volunteer worker or a loving stay at home mother, perhaps all three … It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, the point is you have had a choice, and you have taken and chosen an opportunity that is right for you.
Having equal rights (the right to vote, the right for the father to take paternity leave if that’s what’s right for the family and the right to education no matter what gender) is also a huge opportunity and enabler to carving a life that’s right for you. And not just what society has made you believe is normal or expected – no longer is the male the dedicated bread winner and the mother only allowed to be a house wife. Equal rights enables a better balance of responsibilities, it can allow you to define and live by your own life KPIs and allow you to create a life and career based on your own goals & ambitions. Perhaps starting your own business from the comfort of your home …
If you’re not held back by doubt, whether that’s enforced by society or simply your own feelings, then life really will be your oyster. If you believe in yourself, and you believe you can achieve whatever you want, regardless as to whether you’re male or female, then you will grasp every opportunity with enthusiasm, determination, drive and motivation … you will take that risk and start your business, you will push yourself to ask for that promotion, and you will set your sites on becoming a leader.
TIP: Believe in yourself as an individual, define what you want, and create the opportunity to take you there. Read my tips on how to turn your passions into your career, how to run your own business & how to turn your business idea into a reality.
Knowing your worth
Because I am a woman, I should be paid 20% less than men? Sorry, what?
Unfortunately around the world right now, in many industries, females are still getting paid less than men for the same role. The issue is global and it’s especially heightened in some countries and within certain type of business. The UK is reported to have a 20% gender pay gap which is just unacceptable, fortunately change is being forced by feminists (you know, people who believe in equality) and our government, but it’s not just the pay gap, it’s the number of females in top leadership roles too and driving change at the very top (i’m proud to say a family friend is a big part of driving this change). It’s so important to understand your situation, believe and know your value, and support your own cause … As this is what will help create change in the long run.
“Don’t ever hear in your own head, “Who am I to say something?” You are human. You are a person. You can 100% change the world.” Emma Watson
Embracing feminism and equality, means believing and supporting the need for people to be paid based on their role, their delivery and their ability … not their gender. If you want to run a successful business or create a financially lucrative or stable career, then believing and knowing your value regardless of your gender is imperative.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to ask for that promotion, or fight for that pay rise. If you believe you’re worth more, then raise it, support it with strong rationale & make sure you just ask. Read all my career tips here.
Empowering & inspiring others
You’ll well know by now that I am a firm believer in female empowerment, all my wellbeing and careers tips features are designed to empower and inform you on your own success journey. By celebrating, rewarding and encouraging female achievement, we’ll only empower others to do the same.
As I’ve already discussed in my feature “5 traits we can learn from successful career women“, successful people don’t trample their way to the top, they bring other people up with them. Your success is as much dependent on the people around you supporting and championing you, as it is about you believing in yourself. If you get to the top but have a whole business that hates you, then you’re not going to succeed in that role, because people won’t want to work for you. It’s quite simple but it’s easy to forget if you focus too much on your self. Don’t forget to raise others around you too.
“you can tell who the strong women are, they’re the ones building each other up, instead of tearing each other down”
Me personally, I am inspired by so many females in my life, not least my mum for being the best mum anyone could dream of, and for creating a life that makes her happy & is filled with so much love and content, my former boss who is now MD of a huge media agency and who has truly shown me that it is possible to become an incredibly successful female leader, a mother, a champion for female empowerment, through hard work, self belief, a willingness to learn and of course a whole gang of cheerleaders who are willing you to do well because you’ve empowered them so much along the way, and of course other female bloggers who have carved a career and business of their own through their sheer passion, ambition and determination for creating content.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to seek advice, mentorship or guidance from those you respect or look up to. Their experience & position can help guide your own career & your own journey to success. You can read my tips on how a mentor can help you achieve your own career success here.
I hope you’ve found today’s feature interesting or even a little inspiring. I’d love to know your views on feminism & equality, and whether you like me will be celebrating International Women’s Day.