I recently watched an interesting documentary on PBS called Makers: Women Who Make America. The documentary focused on women like Gloria Steinem, Marlo Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey, and others who were responsible for change the way society viewed women’s roles. I am very grateful for these women who chose to fight for equal rights. Here are the five things I learned:
1. Sometimes a simple action can start a revolution. The story of Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathan in 1967, wasn’t trying to be political. She just wanted to run the marathon, in doing she she open the doors for many women such as Billie Jean King, Venus and Serena Williams, and Danica Patrick.
2. Know Your Worth. In the 1960’s women could only get jobs that required them answering the phone or typing memos but Lorena Weeks changed all that when she sued the Southern Bell when she was denied the chance to become a Switchman, a job that paid more money simply because she was a woman. She decided that the reason wasn’t good enough and fought for a job that she knew she could do.
3. Who you marry is very important. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, has said that a supportive husband can determine how far a woman can go her in career meaning if your husband isn’t on board your career can be derailed. I remember when former President Bill Clinton was elected he said that the country was getting a 2 for 1 deal in regards to his wife Hillary. At the time he was saying that his wife could be president if she wanted to and when she ran in 2008 he was very supportive of her campaign.
4. When you have children is important. Deciding to have children is a very big decision. Children have great impacts on their parents lives and things that women used to do such as come in early or stay late will change.
5. Make some noise. Oprah told a story about her job as talk show co-host in Baltimore. She went to her boss and told him that she thought that she should be making the same money as her male co-host because they were doing the same job. Her request was denied but she didn’t get mad she used as motivation to be the best in her field. Don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers from time to time.
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