Women’s Day: The only permission you need is your own.

If the wheels aren’t turning quickly enough for you, then start turning the wheel yourself. 

While this may not be possible for the majority of women in our country, many of the readers of this newsletter are in the position to be able to make change happen by making different choices. Each choice can have a positive knock-on effect on other women, and society in general too.

Ditch the pink roses and pink bubbly; this is not what Women’s Day/Month is about!

We have to start breaking the gender bias wherever we find ourselves. If we wait for complete systemic and institutional change, we could wait a long time. Not because there hasn’t been progress, but because these cold, hard truths are still very much alive and well in society today, impacting on women’s quality of life, financial security, mental sanity and physical safety:

  • 30% of of adolescent girls miss at least five days of school per month due to period poverty.
  • Women fear for their physical safety in a country where the rape statistics are appalling – with one of the highest rates in the world and where violence against women is endemic.
  • A man may be earning 23 – 35% more than a woman for the same work.
  • A man’s career development often takes precedence in a relationship.
  • A woman loses out on years of income and asset growth when she stops working to bear children.
  • A woman loses out on career advancement opportunities because she can bear children.
  • A woman does not negotiate when she is made an offer at C-suite level because she doesn’t know she can.
  • A woman is asked to discount her fees when pitching for business before the ink is even dry.
  • A woman is labelled as a ‘tough cookie’ if she negotiates well, versus a man who would be celebrated for being a good businessman or dealmaker.
  • A woman is described as cold and hard if she is incisive and firm, where a man is seen as a good leader.
  • A woman does not apply for a job if she doesn’t believe she meets the requirements 100%, versus a man who will apply if he is only 65% qualified.
  • Women default to taking on the ‘soft skills’ jobs because they are conditioned to believe that they don’t have the ’hard skills’ abilities (for example, marketing vs finance).  Women stick with what they know they can do versus pushing into unknown territory.

Do any of these ring true for you? 

For those women who can, as well as those women AND men who are in positions of influence,it’s time to wake up and live with greater awareness so that we can all overcome our blindspots,  created by centuries of conditioning. Breaking the bias means pulling together for a better world (watch Craig Wilkinson’s encouraging video – every woman needs to hear his message).

Let’s follow the lead of the women who stood up for us in their march to the Union Buildings in 1956, and make changes in our own corners of the world to ensure that women live safer lives with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

WOMEN: you need no-one’s permission to say either yes or no to anything. You don’t need permission to tell a new narrative – the stories that inform how you show up in the world and how you expect to be treated.

The only permission you need is your own!

If the wheels aren’t turning quickly enough for you, then start turning the wheel yourself. 

Every change counts as long as it’s about more than pink roses and pink bubbly.

Much love,
Nikki Bush
Human Potential and Parenting Expert helping you to win at work and life

Read my blog: Re-Scripting Women’s Empowerment