I characterize myself as a feminist that embraces her feminism.
As a woman I have strengths that my male colleagues, my husband, and my sons will never have — strengths that are so innate to me being a woman and what only we, as women, are capable of. I also have needs, responsibilities, and initiatives that are different, and I want those to be understood, recognized, and solved for if I am to be the best version of myself in all things, well, life.
I realize I am the nerve center of my household, and I like having a version of myself that isn’t represented just by my family and the success of my children, my husband, or the health of elders in the family. I like that I am celebrated as a successful executive, and I bring that happiness back to my household and, by the same measure, take the harmony of my household back to work. The balance of yin and yang, the masculine and the feminine.
I’ve read about everything going on around us through the last two years of the pandemic — the polarization in opinion, the imbalance between individual and society, the lack of human empathy and appreciation for differences. Also, just the sheer number of women who have been forced to drop off from the workforce due to an increased burden — I realize we need to collectively think about balance. Balance between our lives and our work, balance of self vs. others, and a balance of seeking help vs. giving help.
I continue to read articles about women struggling to cope — I don’t want to sound like I don’t empathize with them or recognize their struggle; but when I dig a little deeper, I see the positive. The burden on women is more visible than ever; the need for a solution is more evident than ever before. The focus on differences in supports required has never been higher.
Employers and governments continue to make this an issue that is front and center. But in all of this, women have to play an important role. No one is going to solve this for us unless we choose to for ourselves and play to our strengths, celebrate them, and commit to realizing we are different and our responsibilities are different. There is no need to be diffident — talk about it, bring attention to it, and drive respect to these differences — at home, at work, in society. Most importantly, do so with men, in addition to the women in your lives.
This International Women’s Day, I will be celebrating everything that it means to be feminine and focusing on creating change in humanity towards inclusivity and equality, regardless of gender. My purpose is to bring back the feminine in all of us, knowing that this solution-driven focus will naturally and effortlessly ensure the empowerment of women and, ultimately, of everyone.