In 1908, amidst terrible working conditions and exploitation, 15,000 women filled New York City’s streets protesting for shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Two years later saw the creation of a Women’s Day to advocate for suffrage, and the first International Women’s Day, a year later, included over a million women in protests for women’s rights.
For most of the 20th century, International Women’s Day was acknowledged and celebrated by people locally and as a rallying point for social justice. 64 years later, in 1975, the United Nations adopted International Women’s Day on 8 March, when it is still held.
This year’s theme: an equal world is an enabled world. Individuals and organizations will celebrate with events, lectures, acknowledgements of achievements, and other activities that resonate close to their hearts. We asked our team and some clients how the theme resonated with them. This is what they had to say:
DCA Virtual Business Support, Team Member & Owner of Andrea’s Book Store
As a mom to two precious little girls, I want to make sure they know how important they are to society and are able to do all they imagine. I didn’t realize how challenging it would be to relay this message! When my oldest daughter was 2 years old, she would tell stories and always made herself the main character – but as a boy. She did know the difference between male and female pronouns but called herself “He” when narrating her actions. I finally realized this was the result of reading so many books with male main characters! It’s tough to find sometimes, but I now strive to have a healthy balance of male and female protagonists in her books so she can be exposed to all types of role models. And I hope to revolutionize the children’s book industry someday myself with some female-centered children’s books to give our young girls a chance to see that they can take on the world!
President of Caja Holdings, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Alum
International Women’s Day, what it means to me as a Latino Entrepreneur in the South may not be what you may think. To me this is a day not just to celebrate women’s accomplishments and impact on our global economy and progress, but to bring light on the unity and equality we embrace each other with.
This year I had the privilege to attend Oprah’s 2020Vision tour and experienced an arena filled with over 15000 people, mainly women. They came together to be inspired and to inspire other women to live a healthy, productive life with purpose. Then as the current president-elect of NAWBO Charlotte chapter, I had the pleasure to attend NAWBO’s Leadership training in Albuquerque, NM where over 200 women business owners got together to receive training, be inspired and support one another.
These two events represent a celebration of Women’s Day in different formats yet with the same sentiment of unity and equality. Let’s celebrate by showing up for each other on March 8th and every day!
DCA Virtual Business Support, Creative Project Manager
I believe the 2020IWD theme means that we each have a responsibility shine a lot on all forms of inequality. We have the power within ourselves to bring change to the world through our own choices. I try to drive this change by raising my daughter and son to celebrate and respect those from all walks of life. I hope that by teaching compassion and strength of character, the generations to come will be closer to an #EachforEqual world.
DCA Virtual Business Support, Team Member
When I was growing up, when asked the question “what do you want to do when you grow up”, I would respond by saying that I wanted to be a businesswoman and mom. Decades have passed since I have given that entirely too simple answer, but I still want to be that person who can make advancements to our society through both my career and my home. Having the ability to shape one’s professional and personal life is a step toward equality that does help us be enabled in this world.
DCA Virtual Business Support, Team Member & Owner of Willow Oak Photography
“An equal world is an enabled world” is a very real mindset for me and the future I’m raising. Empowering my daughters to know that their contributions are equal and not reduced by a simple gender label enables them to shoot for the stars. I hope their unwavering strength and mindset continues to influence their future relationships.
DCA Virtual Business Support, Team Catalyst Lead
An equal world is hard to imagine. I know it may be silly…but I am so excited for the equality being shown in the latest Star Wars movies. Girls are nerds too…so I have noticed how there are more bad ass characters in a male dominated universe. The same could be said for toys and items I buy my kids. The science sets for young girls and the dolls have taken on a new meaning. I’ve been trying to raise my kids with no limitations as far as what they can accomplish. My son has never once said a girl can’t do something. He’s happy playing house or dinosaurs with anyone. I guess the awareness level has been raised, and I love sharing it with both my son and daughter.
In a world where there is still much to be done for true equality, taking a stand in your own space is the first step. Desiring for our daughters to have equality in pay and opportunities is the catalyst that drives many of us.
If you want more inspiration, take a look below to these women who were pioneers of their time. Many accomplished amazing things in both equality for women as well as science and technology, an area that women still lag behind men in equal pay and opportunities.
Ana Roqué de Duprey, born 1853 in Puerto Rico, had a passion for astronomy and education. She founded several girls-only schools. Roqué wrote the Botany of the Antilles, the most comprehensive study of flora in the Caribbean at the beginning of the 20th century, and was also instrumental in the fight for the Puerto Rican woman’s right to vote.
Katherine Johnson, an African-American space scientist and mathematician, made enormous contributions to America’s aeronautics and space programs with the incorporation of her computing tools. She played a huge role in calculating key trajectories enabling Alan Shepard to become the first American in space. Johnson was memorialized in the movie Hidden Figures released in 2016. Ms. Johnson quietly passed away on February 24, 2020; she was 101 years old.
All of these stories and more can be found on: The Untold Women of History in Science & Technology.