Happy International Women’s Day to all the women. Whether you are born as one, identify as one, or are transitioning into one: this is a message from my heart to yours.
Being human is difficult; we all have our problems, no matter how small or large. And it feels like being a woman comes with extra challenges, as if we are never good enough. I’m not trying to insinuate that men have it better, but it can feel like they get cut slack we don’t.
The biggest example from my life is continuously being told that I’m bossy and bratty, while the men and boys in my life are commended for their assertiveness, praised with a pat on the back.
Sometimes it also feels like we’re looking out for more than ourselves—like we are still, and always will be, primary caregivers. Everything else must fit around the responsibility of being the primary caregiver. We must find a balance between everything we want and everything society wants, even if these wants are the same. In that case, we’re told that we’re not dreaming big enough, that we have let ourselves become slaves to society’s expectations, men’s expectations.
What if we choose the corporate route? Or any kind of work route? Then we’re faced with a wage gap, an inferiority complex, and imposter syndrome. It feels as though no choice is the right choice.
So, this International Women’s Day, I would like to give you this message: write a story that is uniquely and beautifully yours. Don’t let yourself become the side character. Don’t let others take the reign. Do what feels right to you, even if others tell you that it’s wrong. No choice will ever be the right choice. Someone will always be unhappy.
For the women who plan on working after their education (which I assume is most, if not all of you), Statistics Canada shows that the gender balance is quite close to equilibrium, as of 2021, with women making up 47.3 per cent of their occupation group.
For women who are great leaders and know they can make a difference in managerial positions, Statistics Canada shows that the gender balance for senior management positions is also close to equilibrium, as of 2022, with women making up 47.5 per cent of senior management positions.
For women who change their minds along the way or decide that they want to be stay-at-home mothers, you’re not alone. In a survey done in 2022, 56 per cent of American women said they would prefer to be a stay at home mother than going to work. If you choose a life at home with your kids instead of going to work, we salute you; know that we are immensely proud of you for making a decision that benefits you and your family.
For women who choose to balance work and family, you are to be admired as well for managing both roles.
You are more than what society defines as a woman; you are what you define as a woman.