By Melissa J. Anderson (New York City)
Today, August 26, marks Women’s Equality Day here in the US. Today we celebrate the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. It’s shocking that less than 100 years ago, women weren’t considered capable of exercising good judgment over who they would like their leaders to be.
Now we know that’s not true – women are smart, strong, and effective decision makers. And a day like today provides us with the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come. Today, women do more than vote on leaders. Women are leaders. Just consider the achievements of the individuals included on this year’s Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list.
Of course, this day also serves as a reminder that in many ways, our society has not yet achieved gender parity. As President Obama pointed out in last year’s Women’s Equality Day Proclamation:
“Women comprise less than one-fifth of our Congress and account for a mere fraction of the chief executives at the helm of our biggest companies. Women hold only 27 percent of jobs in science and engineering, which are critical to our economic growth in a 21st-century economy. And, almost 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted, American women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. This gap increases among minority women and those living with disabilities.”
One of the most important ways women can help strive for parity is to serve as role models for others – men and women – looking up. It’s time to start seeing yourself as the leader you are and mentor or sponsor promising young people. As Catalyst’s recent research on sponsorship shows, by making a difference in the lives of others, you can boost your own career as well.
On this Women’s Equality Day, we invite you to exercise your right to vote. The Glass Hammer is your community and we want to make sure we’re providing you with the informative, empowering, and inspiring content you’re looking for.
Last year, we asked you, our readers, what you’d like to see more of on The Glass Hammer. The answer was loud and clear – more advice on management and career navigation. We’ve worked to ramp up content on these topics, and we hope we’ve come through for you. This year, we’re asking you again. Please consider the topics below, and let us know which topics would be most valuable for you.
Finally, we encourage you to take stock of those senior women who’ve helped you throughout your career, and in the comments section below, nominate someone you’d like us to profile.
Thanks for your help. Happy Women’s Equality Day!