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International Women’s Day…reflecting on progress.

Womens day

It’s a day that causes me to reflect both personally and professionally on the progress that women have made particularly in the past few decades. There have been great strides and while there is still some distance to go, I know it’s different and better for women because I have lived it.

The world is a better place and I am a greater force in the world today than I was even a few decades ago. Had I told my 20 year old self that I would have three different careers and finally start a successful company with other female entrepreneurs, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. But, times changed and so did I.

It made me recall some critical times in my career, like when I was 27 and applied for an internal promotion at my company. I was interviewed by the direct hiring manager and seemed to move easily to the final interview with the VP overseeing the entire programme. And what I remember about the interview…he didn’t ask me about my experience but merely peered over his glasses and asked, “And so what does your husband think of you applying for this new job? It’s a lot more responsibility.”

Even back then, I was pretty shocked but I collected myself and replied that while I didn’t think what my husband thought was germane to the role, he was in fact very supportive of my application. His next question was about childcare. Again, I reiterated that I didn’t think that it should be a factor to be considered but I obligingly offered that in fact I could manage this responsibility as I had the appropriate resources in place. There were no other questions and the interview ended shortly thereafter. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

And what did I do about it? I fumed but essentially I did nothing and that is the part that surprises me the most now.  But those were different times and I was a different person with different expectations of the world and my power in it.

These are better times…so let’s celebrate.

celebrate

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