Birthed out of the labor movement in the early 1900s, International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event recognized by the United Nations. Women were advocating for better pay and working hours, as well as the right to vote in the United States. Community activist Clara Zetkin proposed the idea of an international day to the International Conference of Working Women in 1910 and it was unanimously accepted, with delegates from 17 countries present.
In 1975, the UN officially adopted International Women’s Day, marking it as a day to celebrate progress for women in society, politics, and economics while also continuing to organize, raise awareness, and advocate for further change in issues of inequality. The color purple is associated with IWD, representing justice and dignity. Around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated with traditions such as giving flowers, extra time off work, and recognition of women’s achievements.
Despite the monumental progress that has been made toward equality over the past century, that progress hasn’t been divided equally across the global nor is the work toward equality done. According to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, “as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.”
At Voice Systems Engineering, we are committed to equality and lifting women up across all levels of our organization. We are proud to have many strong women across our organization, in departments such as finance, marketing, software development, and human resources. We asked a few of VSE’s leaders to share words of advice that they would give to women in the workforce. Here’s what they had to say:
“My advice for women in the workplace is to take initiative and always be your biggest champion. Don’t wait to be asked to do something if you believe it is the right thing to do for the business, do it! If you see a problem, take initiative, and do what it takes to get it solved. Be an advocate for yourself. If you don’t ask for what you need to get ahead, whether it be a raise, a promotion or new opportunity, additional resource, or otherwise, if you don’t ask for it, the answer is always no.” – Samantha Liss, Chief Marketing Officer
“Develop a deep sense of curiosity and challenge yourself to learn new things every day. When you challenge the status quo around you, not only will you grow but so too will the businesses you impact.” – Susan Wenitsky, Chief Financial Officer
“Always learn, always grow, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is part of learning.” – Galina Woshczyn, Director of Product Development
“Watch carefully as the world of work changes. For many women it feels like the work-life integration they need to feel happy and successful doesn’t exist. If you find yourself in a place where you feel you can’t bring your whole self to work, question that and actively seek a place where all of your capabilities are valued and respected. For women in leadership roles, we have a responsibility to help create these pathways and help others to see their value.” – Sharon Donaghey, Chief People Officer
“Take a moment. Breathe. Appreciating this very moment, no matter what the Universe is handing you, provides clarity for your next step.” – Sharon Martin, Senior UIUX Designer/Developer