Decades ago, when you hear the word ‘WOMAN’, you think, housewife, nurse, teacher or receptionist. A woman’s ambition dared not sniff the doors of the boardroom or even the corners of wall-street, although vacancies didn’t explicitly say men only, it was like there was this unwritten norm that the top and middle positions in any “serious” field was ‘for men’ only. Even when women began to break barriers through ‘the boys clubs’, they did it trying to act like men, wearing shoulder padded straight suits and leading with men traits. Thankfully, those years are long gone, and through different generations, from Trad to baby boomer to X and now millennial, we have seen the woman come into her own skin, proud of the inherent abilities she has and recognizing that the right to dream and to become is not gender specific. Millennial women are now at the tipping point of the eons of years of revolution, reaping the perks the years of activism have brought and still charging on.
It’s not like we do not deem the roles of the housewife as worthy enough, we have made it a choice to do and not a compulsion. We understand what our responsibilities are but we also realize that we also have the power to be ambitious. Why channel all your energy to one thing when you can do 3 other things and still slay. Like I can be a superb mom and wife and still kill it in the boardroom of a Forbes 500 of course in my stilettos. I don’t have to choose one or the other, I can have both, has anyone seen the movie ‘I don’t know how she does it’.
Now the first reaction of course is that millennial women are self-absorbed and too ambitious, and the battlefield is getting fiercer by the day with longer hours and higher KPIs, but a recent research by Pew Research Centre says 83% of women want to work full time owning their business so that they can have the flexibility to face what’s top on their priority list- family. So yes, the millennial women are an empowered generation but we are also more traditional than most people like to believe. In fact we are redefining the stay at home phenomenon, now with the advent of technology, there are now stay at home mum’s working from home i.e telecommuting.
The movie ‘Hidden Figure’ celebrates the role of women in the budding innovation of United States, although this was specifically for science, now we have women in male-dominated industries like Tech, Finance, advertising and Business consulting, and we are still counting.
So yes, we do not have to pick one or the other, technology has made the decision for us, affording us the empowerment to blend tradition with innovation.
So I raise a glass, to every woman that has broken the silence, shattered the walls, refusing to stand back, to the ‘her’s that changed the statistic from zero to one, so that the rest can follow. Happy international women’s day