Good morning and Happy International Women's Day!
I grew up in the 70's. Feminism was known as Women's Lib!
When I think of the women I knew, they were moms and teachers.
A few of the moms had a job, (my mom was a teacher) and those jobs were pretty traditional "women's work"- nurse, teacher, secretary, etc.
My brother and I got books for Christmas one year- those books where you fill in the blanks all about yourself.
I got the girl's version and in the "When I grow up I want to be..." section, the options were "mother", "nurse" etc.
In my brother's book, the options were "doctor", "policeman", "lawyer" etc.
I remember talking about this with my mom and saying, "girls can't be doctors".
Or course she replied, "Girls can be anything they want to be!"
Somewhere along the way, I decided I would have my own job. To me that equaled power, freedom and independence.
And that was a semi-radical concept at the time.
In grade seven, my teacher shared a story with us. She had applied for a Zellers credit card, and even though she had her own career, they would not accept her without her husband co-signing. She was pissed.
And I was activated. It was that moment I became a "women's libber".
For me, my businesses have always been a part of my feminist expression. I employ women. My customers and clients are women. That wasn't my plan, it just unfolded that way. And it's something I'm grateful for every single day.
Creating my own career and owning businesses has given me total ownership over my life.
When I think of the women I knew growing up, none of them owned their own company. None of them were a lawyer, a doctor, an architect or an engineer.
Of course, being a stay-at-home-mom, or choosing to be a teacher or nurse are all awesome choices.
And what's exciting now is that girls are being brought up to understand they have choices.
Those choices include owning your own company. Having a voice. Being a leader. Being married, single, divorced. Having kids or not having kids.
Being able to get a business loan in your own name.
On this International Women's Day, I want to acknowledge how far we've come. Even just in my lifetime.
I'm grateful for the work that women did before me, laying the groundwork so that I can have the life I have. And I'm grateful for the brilliant work the next generation will be doing going forward.
There is work to be done, no doubt. And I know that over the next 40 years, the world will transform again and again, because women will make it happen. Just as they have before.
I'm grateful for the entrepreneurial community of women I'm part of; women who are clear that the way to rise is to rise together. We support, educate and empower each other every single day, and that excites me down to my toes!
What do you think about on International Women's Day? What does feminism mean to you?
I'm sending you wishes for an awesome, powerful day full of freedom and self-expression, today and every day.