A note on International Women's Day.

Today marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. While you might think IWD popped up just like National Taco Day, National Peanut Butter Day, or any other “holiday” that’s made it’s way to social media in recent years, it’s actually been around since the early 1900’s — we just didn’t have Instagram to tell us about it back then.

I’m a big ol’ feminist. I know and believe that anyone is capable and deserving of all things, no matter their gender, race, or class. To quote my girl Gloria Steinem (can I call you “my girl,” Gloria?),

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

This statement has long been associated with IWD and where the celebration of women comes from. You might be surprised to know that IWD is not put on by a single organization or corporation, it’s just the product of many coming together to recognize the strength and success of women across the globe — which, in 2018, is a whooole lotta women.

IWD in 2018 looks quite different than it did when it started in the early 1900’s…

  • Voting rights. Remember when you couldn’t vote if you were a women?

  • Gendered jobs. Remember when if you were a woman, you were either a nurse, teacher, secretary or stay at home mom?

  • Speaking up. Remember when you had no voice simply because you were a woman?

I sure don’t and if you’re around my age, you don’t either! 🙌

For that, I am grateful. My peers and I are lucky that we have been brought up in an age of the mindset, I am a woman, and I can do whatever the fuck I want.

My friends and I are founders of companies and advisors to others. We value our careers and professional development.

We’re outspoken on our wants, beliefs, and desires.

We honor personal development, and believe in doing good for others through that development.

We’re openly sexual beings — but know that is only a mere fraction of our identity as a woman.

We know our value and we’re not afraid to ask for what we deserve — not because we are women, but because we work hard and respect our time and effort.

In 2018, in the US metropolitan culture I live in, this is what it means to be a woman (I recognize not all places are there yet). In 2018, it’s also very easy to make this day just another tweet or another Instagram post.

My best friend Nina said it best,

Do more, my wonderful friends. Do more.

  • Attend an International Women’s Day event.

  • Ask a co-worker, friend, sister, your mom!where are you struggling and how can I help?” 👭

  • Check-in with yourself: Where am I spending my time and energy? Is what I’m getting in return worth that time and energy? How can I make change that will result in a greater return?*

*These questions apply both personally and professionally. Returns don’t always need to be financial. Often they are and should be! But value comes in many shapes and sizes.

Do the above frequently, not just today. Here are a few of my favorite companies that make it easy: girlbossLadies Get PaidBumbleThe Y SocietySaltyGirls Night InChangemaker Chats.

Happy International Women’s Day to all — now go out and celebrate IRL!

my ladies who make me, me 💖💖💖

my ladies who make me, me 💖💖💖

sarah gaines