With any new job or internship, drawing comparisons to previous work experiences is inevitable—what you know now versus then, what practices have been most efficient, etc.
When these thoughts recently crossed my mind, I began to veer from reflecting on my specific roles to those of my superiors. In doing so, I realized that out of all my positions in NYC, only two superiors have been male. And while they were amazing mentors in their own right, I think it’s overwhelmingly significant to point out that I’ve been privileged enough to work for women who were not only great business leaders but whose names followed with CEO, Founder, President, Owner or similar variations. Needless to say, I’m proud to be working at Media Maison under Samantha Martin for the same reason.
As International Women’s Day approaches on March 8, I can’t help but vicariously celebrate these women for their accomplishments. Having grown up with hardworking, influential women in my own family, it doesn’t surprise me that I’ve earnestly tried to pursue a similar path with my own career. I don’t, however, take for granted the fact that the journey there is still not an easy one.
As a child, I sometimes resented my mother for being the only female VP at her job. This meant she couldn’t drop me off at school like other moms did, she couldn’t attend every mid-day recital we had and she certainly wasn’t waiting for me as soon as I got home. Looking back, I’m grateful she taught all three daughters that women could in fact be successful and still have families.
Even in high school, I diverted my teen angst toward writing heated opinion pieces for the school paper against the recurring vituperation toward then-Senator Hillary Clinton despite her merits amid her potential presidential run. While the article was a minuscule contribution to a bigger conversation, it was important to me nonetheless. In college, I pursued a second degree in Women’s Studies. Before one can even muster the words, I already know the jokes that normally follow. And that’s sad. Rather than celebrate the fact that this field of study is even possible, these programs and the women and, yes, men who enroll in them are instead laughed at or scrutinized. There’s a reason the conversation is ongoing.
For people who say sexism is no longer relevant in the workforce and/or society, I urge them to dig a little deeper. Aside from the proven wage gap that often remains at the forefront of this discussion, other, more staggering discrepancies between male and females remain, especially on a global scale.
Clearly, this is a topic I’ve been passionate about for a long time and one that I wish wasn’t limited to 500 words or less this time around. All of this said, I encourage people to acknowledge International Women’s Day as a tribute to all the extraordinary women before us and as a reminder to continue the global dialogue for those to come.