Women have found the secret to success, and it’s rising into a movement. But it took a long road for us to get there.
When I was asked by my social media advisor to write a blog about equality and movement for women in the technology sector over the last 20 years, I admit I was unsure of where to start. So much has already been said. How best to articulate my perspective into something meaningful or different?
The first thing that came to mind was to separate “equality” from “women’s movement”
The Difference Between Equality And The Women’s Movement
Yes, women have made great strides but we’re still far from being equal with men. The faces remain stubbornly male at the top of both business and government. In 2019 we learned that on average women earn 79 cents to every dollar a man earns.
Based on Women in Tech World’s Gender Equity Roadmap report, only 25% of women are part of the Canadian tech sector and of that only 13% are in executive positions and less than 5% hold the title of CEO. Looking at those numbers we’re compelled to ask, where is the progress?
I consider my own experience as a business owner in the home automation tech space and remember how in the early days of the industry, I was one of only a handful of women. At the time, we were most grateful for not having to deal with long bathroom line ups. Seriously.
Today in the tech sector, the bathroom line ups are definitely longer. But if we’re still not equal, then how have we become successful as a women’s movement?
Here Lies The Secret To The Women’s Movement And Our Own Success In Business
From my perspective, it’s within our own gender. Yes, the most profound progress towards equality has been made within our own gender. The greatest shift and the greatest progress is amongst and between ourselves, as women in the workplace, as women in the world.
Twenty years ago, women didn’t necessarily support one another in business the way we do today. Generally speaking, there were not as many women in business, starting businesses or part of the business environment. We weren’t as well represented, and we stubbornly refused to see ourselves in each other. With less opportunities, and a more hostile environment, we operated from a place of fear and scarcity. And from this place, we weren’t always the kindest to one another.
For the most part, this isn’t the case today. Today, for the most part, we support one other – openly, fiercely, unapologetically.
We Are All Boss Babes
Today, I see women becoming more inclusive. More supportive. More aligned. And it has moved mountains in both technology and business.
We champion each other and the causes we care about. We connect. We converse. We collaborate. We believe in one another and we seek each other out for advice, coaching, mentorship and advancement. We share the truth and reality of our lived experiences in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
In 2018 alone, women demonstrated that when we come together, we can effect real change. We can shift long-entrenched corporate cultures, we can influence policy, we can impact elections, and we can change the “status quo”. We learned, (or were reminded) that we are very powerful collectively.
And finding that equality amongst ourselves has pushed us and emboldened us to demand equity and equality beyond our own ranks, into all facets of society – openly, fiercely, and unapologetically. But we didn’t get here – however you define “here” – without organizing ourselves first. We’ve created a Boss Babes movement, and it’s seen in groups, organizations, political parties, and associations.
From Advocating For Ourselves, To Advocating For Everyone
In the last few years women have found the power of the collective, of understanding that together we’ll go farther. All of us, not just one of us.
The equality and strength we have found amongst ourselves has given us the confidence, the tenacity and the desire – to find the same equality everywhere, to create it in all facets of our lives. We are empowering because we’ve been empowered. We are inclusive because we’ve been included. And we are rising by standing on each other’s shoulders.
We have come a long way. We’re on the right track.
And we have more work to do.