Today we celebrate women’s day. But what have we really achieved? For this topic, so close to my heart, I wish I could write a thoughtful article to express all that I want today. Yet with a deadline for yet another draft for my thesis looming for tomorrow, all I can do is to offer a few short thoughts, or rather pleas, lacking in eloquence but heartfelt nonetheless.
Please remember today, that even though we have achieved a spot in the workplace, we’ve only managed to climb only as high as middle-management while upper middle-management and high management positions are still dominated by men. The glass ceiling is still there, as impenetrable as ever. Please remember, that even though we’ve managed to narrow the pay gap, we haven’t even come close to bridging it, with pay differences ranging from 10 to more than 40 percent. And yes, these statistics refer to Western societies. Please remember that when a woman does manage to attain a managerial position, she will often be demonized and hated, not only by her male but also her female colleagues. Inciting hatred, she will be labeled anything from “Dragon” to “Iron-Lady”. Please remember that women are still passed over for promotions and partnerships, even when they have equal or better skills and work history than men.
Lastly, perhaps most importantly, please remember to be kind. Be kind to the woman next to you. If we continue to be divided, we’ll always be conquered. I am proud to be studying under the team of researchers who showed, in 2004, that in our struggle to stand out, in our desperate fight to claim a better future for ourselves as individuals, we tend to try to dissociate and differentiate ourselves so much from our fellow women that we actually end up stereotyping and encumbering our fellow women even more than men do. Don’t let this be yet another weapon that will be used against us. If you take anything from this rushed, yet heartfelt post of mine, please take this with you: Be kind to your fellow woman. Help her achieve her goals. Please remember, that true change is yet to come. We’ve got to achieve it together.