Why I Went to Work on International Women’s Day

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I seriously debated staying home to stand in solidarity with other women on National Women’s Day. When the highest power in the country demeans and objectifies women in casual comments, the second in command wants the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade and the men running the House and Senate want to de-fund Planned Parenthood, it’s a good time to remind everyone about the value that women contribute to the workforce, the economy and to society as a whole.

Slow, but steady progress has been made over the years to improve the inequities between men and women, but when that progress is threatened by oppressive ideals disguised as traditionalism, acts of public defiance are incredibly important. That’s why the Women’s March in January was so successful.

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Women are major contributors to key parts of the workforce. We make up the majority of educators, bank tellers, dentists/dental hygienists, tax preparers, health care workers, reporters/media/communication workers and pharmacists according to this really interesting article from Time. I think when this idea of A Day Without Women on National Women’s Day was dreamt up it was largely from the perspective of corporate women, like myself; women with paid time off and wages that support their ability to remove themselves from society for a day. Women in low-wage positions with little schedule flexibility will find themselves unable to participate A Day Without Women, and this will likely result in a higher rate of participation from white middle-class women than of their minority counterparts. So, our culture won’t truly feel the effects of a day without some of the most vital contributors to our workforce: educators, childcare workers, women in the service industry, etc. I truly felt like the Women’s March was a fully inclusive expression of solidarity – it embraced women of color, of different faiths, of different origins. Unfortunately, I don’t think today’s Day Without Women achieves that same result or will have the lasting effect of the Women’s March, but the demonstration is still incredibly important.

So, I have the privilege of paid time off, why wouldn’t I participate in the Day Without Women today? I seriously considered it, and then I remembered where I worked. I am fortunate enough to work for an organization with a female CEO and several women in powerful positions. I was hired by a female executive and I was promoted by a successful working woman. I work directly with brilliant, hard-working women every day in an environment where I feel appreciated for the work I do and I never feel that my achievements are limited due to who I am. My co-workers, male and female, chip in when someone is on maternity leave and our flexible schedule allows parents to leave early to pick up a sick child or come in late due to an early morning appointment. I work in marketing for a small company in a very liberal city, this dynamic isn’t completely out of the ordinary, but I appreciate it more every day.

So, out of respect for the women I work with and the women I work for, I went to work today. I dug through my sea of black and grey shirts and found something red to wear. And I will not stop on the way home for almond milk.

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