08 Mar Feminism and International Women’s Day – #BalanceforBetter
Hello. My name is Kate. I’m married, a working Mum with two young boys, and I am a feminist. But not your stereotypical one.
Thanks to the incredible work of amazing women like Emmeline Pankhurst we have the right to vote, to hold public office, to own a property and to have equal rights in marriage, long gone are the days when we vow to ‘obey’ our husbands.
We have come an incredibly long way, but feminism has a new challenge, so I think that it needs a rebrand. In my opinion it is about equality for both women and men, and as International Women’s Day is highlighting today, its about #balanceforbetter.
We are fighting the gender pay gap, for equal opportunity to sit at the top table. But to get there, we need to fight for men’s rights too. Their right not to be frowned upon for taking shared parental leave, or for asking to work flexibly to help support the balance at home.
So we need men to be feminists. Because until there is a gender balance at home, the workplace, and other opportunities, will never be fully gender equal. We need balance for better opportunities, for better business, for better work/life balance and just to be better.
Women often hit a glass ceiling because we are seen like some kind of a reproductive time bomb. According to Pregnant Then Screwed as staggering 40% of employers say they would avoid hiring a woman of childbearing age, it’s 2019 for &*@ks sake people!
Whether it is a conscious/unconscious bias, many mothers and women of childbearing age are being held back in their careers. In some industries they leave altogether. That is thousands of people being held back or leaving the talent pool, and that is thousands of men held back from being as present at home as they want to be because of what they feel is ‘expected’ of them.
I am lucky that I work at a company that supports me in my role as a working mother. But women across the country are coming up against staggering levels of discrimination both before and after having children.
Take it from Beyonce, we are “strong enough to bare the children, then get back to business.”
So we all need to join the fight for equality, for feminism, for #balanceforbetter.
So happy International Women’s Day to all my female friends and colleagues who are just badass and fight the patriarchy everyday just being the incredible women they are. And here is to all the men who challenge stereotype, who sit beside and support strong women; their wives, partners, mothers, daughters, sisters and employees, and support them in taking their place in the world.