Ladies first – 7 simple ways YOU can create gender equality.
I woke up today on the dawn to the women’s march inspired and ready to take action. After writing a postcard to my senator – for the Women’s March: 10 action in 100 days project – it was time to think about what I could do in the days and months to come. As founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute, the best way I can help is to transform inspiration into action. So as my first contribution to the women's march movement, here are 7 simple ways WE ALL can put ladies first to increase gender equality and the well-being of women.
1. Hire women.
Women are often less likely to get hired for traditionally male jobs. But we have the power to change this! Hire a woman accountant, lawyer, handy woman, electrician, website designer, doctor, therapist, etc… Anytime you hire someone, demonstrate through your actions that you believe women are just as capable as men to do traditionally male jobs.
2. Buy from women.
Women owned companies are far less likely to get investment despite the fact that these companies show more rapid growth. You can change this by buying from women business owners. For example, Pussy hats – a product created by women for women – shows just how much we can support each other’s ideas and business. Check out Etsy.com for tons of other woman-led businesses.
3. Close the pay gap.
Women earn 80 cents to every dollar. The first step to closing the pay gap is holding our employers accountable. Support transparent pay, merit-based promotion, and equal pay policies at your workplace.
4. Create an echo.
When a woman offers an idea or suggestion in a group, remind the group whose idea it was by saying something like, “Thank you Sally, for sharing your idea on _____”. This echo makes it more likely that she will be given credit for her idea.
5. Mentor women.
One of the reasons women are not reaching top positions is a lack of mentorship. When we have mentors, we more easily learn what we need to know to advance. Both men and women can put ladies first by choosing to mentor a woman.
6. Buy toys with that promote equality.
Christopher Bell showed us that there are systematic inequalities in the toy industry – inequalities that affect how our children view women. When buying toys, choose toys promote equality – like Naturally Perfect Dolls and gender neutral toys.
7. Be a role model.
As a female business owner and scientist who works in the tech industry, I know it’s hard to follow your dreams, particularly when those dreams don’t fit female stereotypes. Don’t let anyone else decide what is right for you. Fight for what you believe in and go after what you want. Show younger girls that they too have the power to reach their goals.
Everyone has the power to make a difference. How will you change the world?
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