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International Women's Day 2020

Updated: Mar 9

Today, the 8th March is International Women’s Day and this year the focus for this day is Each for Equal. Where challenging stereotypes and improve situations.

I'm lucky enough to speak to and work with some amazing women in my time and as its international women’s day, I've asked them some questions and here are their answers

What’s your name? Sharla Bailey

What’s your occupation: Global Customer Program Manager

Where do you live? Seattle, Washington. USA


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

I am inspired by all those who have gone before me and fought battles for equality so that I may have the life I live today. I think that most women have one thing, aspect, trait, etc that is inspiring to someone. I have two groups of ladies I see, weekly or monthly. One of the things I love the most is the diversity of insight, experience, and counsel I get from these ladies.


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

I think what it means to be a woman is not dependent necessarily on my part of the world, but of each person feels it is. I think for me it means I have opportunities; however, I still think there is a variation in terms of pay based on gender. I think that each year this is changing and evolving. I love that I see more and more women in positions of power and more and more women entrepreneurs.


Do you think it’s harder for women to make it to the top?

I do. I think there are still a great many companies where it is a big boys club. Although I think this changing and I think just due to the age demographic, that as time passes, we will see less and less.


What advice would you give your younger self?

It's ok to have fun but save some money! Don't get into debt. Savour all your experiences. Travel more, dream big, open your mind. You can do ANYTHING. Although education does not necessarily equal a good job, it does make it easier. So, try harder!

What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

That none of it matters, not your age, marital status, race, gender, sexual preference, religion, or any other label will matter at all. Opportunity to work, live, worship, and enjoy life is not biased by any of those "labels"

What’s your name? Sandra Ratermann

What’s your occupation: Global Implementation and Program Manager

Where do you live? Chicago, USA


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

I would say locally I am inspired by people who start grass Roots initiatives. Their drive and passion despite the odds, the political climate and maybe feeing small in this big pond is truly what we as a society need.


Globally I love Michelle Obama. There are many things I like about her one that stands out is my admiration for her way of dealing with all the nastiness while they were in office. I am fiercely protective of the people I love if my husband, kids or family would be attacked the way hers was I would be furious and lash out. She didn't let the nastiness win and always showed the world how love and compassion is a way to deal


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

I live in the US and I do feel that we have all the opportunities and possibilities to achieve what we want to do. Here you are responsible for your own success not just in business in every part of your life I feel. So, to go after your goals, you must seek out opportunities, network and be comfortable in spaces that you may not naturally gravitate to. I am not sure that this is necessarily unique to the US, however...


Do you think it’s harder for women to make it to the top?

Absolutely! And there are so many reasons for that it would be impossible to list them all. To me, the 2 main ones are old power structures and networks that exist and are not easy to breakthrough. One example I observe at work fairly often when the guys chat about their golf game on the weekend, patting each other on the back creating friendship and familiarity with one another. It's something I don't share or care about so how do I get in that space? I don't 🙂


The other is that some women are self-limiting. I do that too. My decision-making progress in business often involves looking at the things I can't do or won't enjoy or might not succeed. I think it's important to do that but only if you have the willingness to say ok fine and still not let it stop you. It is taking me a decent amount of work to change this.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Be good to yourself in mind body and spirit. Don't invite or keep energy vampires in your life and never hesitate to ask for what you want. No one can say no to you if you don’t ask the question


What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

True and honest compassion. People are very focused to judge a situation or other people from their vantage point and with their own life experience. It would be good if we all would be more compassionate and more open to the possibility that we don't know it all or have all the information to judge someone or their situation.

What’s your name? Malin Bergman

What’s your occupation: Operational Key Account Manager

Where do you live? Sweden


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

I don’t have anyone but I’m inspired by women around me that are strong and successful and at the same time support others.


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

I believe that in my country (Sweden) we have come a long way in terms of equality and we have good opportunities to make a great career. What is left is for the culture to change to make it even more acceptable for women to stand out and taking space. Woman need to be better at standing up for and believing in themselves


Do you think it’s harder for women to make it to the top?

Yes. I believe that since many men are at the top women do not see role models in the same way as men do. Also, men are better to pull other men up while I believe women are not doing that in the same extent. Often around the time, you are about to peak in your career that is when a family can come into the picture which could change focus and priorities which also could affect your career


What advice would you give your younger self?

To believe in me and don’t be afraid of changes. Also to not accept bullshit


What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

Teach the next generation to treat everyone equally and to deal with conflicts.


Name: Eszter Tamas

What’s your occupation: Business Manager

Where do you live? Switzerland


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

I don’t have a women role model at work as such – there are different characteristics in either woman and man which inspire me. The below quote is my aim – not there yet but working towards it.


Maya Angelou: You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

In Switzerland, even in 2020, there is still the old family model where the woman stays home with the kids for 5-6 year then get a part-time job and not doing a career. The one who wants to go back to work needs a higher salary to able to pay for the child care, but even going back to work the have double struggle with work and family. It is still women earn 20% less according to the statistic however this is nowadays due to our assents and low negotiation skills during salary agreements. Again for a woman, it is a double burden.


Do you think its harder for women to make it to the top?

Depends – for HR and Finance not. For business yes as you cannot stay until 8 pm as you need to pick up a child from childcare, you won’t be able to go for an after-work dinner where the `other` agenda will be discussed, logistic especially is still a man-oriented industry.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t stress about things and don’t take thing too much of your heart. Keep the work-life balance otherwise only work remain….

What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

Not only talk about but do it. I still don’t see enough movement behind the thing said. I wish for the same wage.

Name Brooke Fabian

What’s your occupation: Realtor

Where do you live: Cincinnati, USA


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

I'm inspired by Glennon Doyle who decided to stop trying to fit in the box that society and even herself thought would best fit her life. She struggled and made no apologies for her failures - rather grew stronger and became an advocate for her own life and the life and well being of others. She’s a true HERO of our time.


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

Being a woman in today's society is ever-changing. Where we used to be boxed in to being a wife and mother only - today we can be business owners and CEOs and trailblazers. I cannot wait for the possibilities for my daughters.


Do you think its harder for women to make it to the top?

Yes. Yes, it is. Even when women make it to the top they’re still expected to carry the traditional “family duties” tied to being a woman. “Cook the meals. Do the laundry. Tend to the kids. Arrange the carpool. Chaperone the field trips”.

Hopefully soon, men start seeing themselves as equals and not relying on women to take care of everything.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Do not fall into the box your family has made for you. Blaze your own trail. You don’t owe anyone ANYTHING!


What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

I wish the roles or parenting were more equal. The concept of men “babysitting” their kids is beyond absurd

Name: Amy Wallace

What’s your occupation: Senior Manager

Where do you live? Kent, UK


Which women are you inspired by in your local community and globe?

In my local community and at work – there are no women that I have as a role model. Which is a shame, given the younger women, are their infancy finding their feet and career, not being able to see what key skills it takes to be a leader or inspiration.


Globally and celebrities there are a few women that really inspire me, Stacey Solomon and Jameela Jamil – strong women, showing on social media that we don’t live in a perfect world and they aren’t afraid to make mistakes or look silly. Women like Megan Markle (not being afraid to put her family and mental health before family expectations),


Reese Witherspoon who was told that books and screenplays written by women would not make any money and she showed them with Wild, Big Little Lies etc. Making billions and empowering and inspiring over women.


What does it mean to be a woman in your part of the world and society you live in?

It’s not great, but it’s not bad. When I think of the women that thought for my right to vote and for my ability to choose what I can do with my body compared to the changing landscape in the US. I’m lucky, but I still feel that we are asked more than men in business and work. We have to juggle so much and have the pressure of meeting particular benchmarks that society has set for us. Like I said it could be worse, but it could be better.


Do you think its harder for women to make it to the top?

Hells yeah! Not only do you have to look out for the men that are ambitious and want to get ahead, but women vs. women – it’s a dog eat dog. I’ve not met many women that empower each other. I’m lucky that all the women I do, become firm friends and build each other up (like agreeing to participate in my blog 😊). But some women are worse than men. So you’re fighting to do a good job, see friends, make time for family, ensure you have me time, and then have to deal with the expectations.


What advice would you give your younger self?

As my amazing women friends have said in their advice. Mine would be adapt to change when one door closes another opens. Be comfortable with who you are and what you can achieve. Anything above this is a bonus and builds on the amazing you.


What one thing do you wish for the future for people being equal?

To be understanding, thoughtful, caring and empathetic. Everyone is fighting their own battles, look at how you can build people up rather than getting one over on someone. Also, social media isn’t a place for brain farts – if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, keep it in your head!


Thank you soooo much to my friends for answering these questions - you are amazing and inspiring, just taking the time to support me.


I hope that reading the above has inspired you and you continue that inspiration in your everyday life and improve the world, one tiny step at a time.


Can you imagine if we did one nice thing a day, each of us in the world, that would be 7,769,508,618 good deeds imagine if we paid it forward every day? Treated every one no matter, their colour, race, religion, sexual preference, age, sex and any new things that the world creates to alienate people.

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