As anyone who knows me can tell you, March – Women’s History Month – is a meaningful time for me as I believe it’s very important to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and their ongoing contributions to society. Women empowerment is a crucial aspect of this celebration: recognizing the progress that has been made and highlighting the work that still needs to be done. I find this to be especially true in the workplace, and as a business leader I am a strong advocate for closing the gender gap and ensuring the next generation is equipped with equal opportunities and the chance to have their voices heard.
Women have been fighting for equal rights in the workplace for decades, and before that they had to fight for equal rights to education. Throughout the 20th Century, from the right to vote to the right to work without discrimination, women have been pushing for change in the workplace. In recent years, we have seen progress in this area, with more women breaking barriers and earning top positions in various industries.
However, there is still a significant gender gap in many workplaces. Women are too often paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same job, and they are underrepresented in top leadership positions. This gender gap exists even though women are often better educated than men and make up half of the workforce.
To close this gender gap, women need the chance to earn a seat at the table, rather than demanding a seat at the table. This means that women need to be included in the decision-making process and have a voice in the workplace. Women need to be recognized for their contributions and be given opportunities to lead and excel in their roles. But earning a seat at the table isn't enough. Women also need to pay it forward to the next generation. This means not only advocating for better policies and speaking out against gender-based discrimination, but also taking the time to mentor and support younger women. As a product of effective mentorship myself, I find it such a powerful tool, and is why I started the Girls of Legacy. This mentoring and scholarship program is entering into its second year and has already empowered 10 young at-risk women with tools and resources for their personal and professional growth. By building their confidence, funding their higher education and career development opportunities, and providing guidance and support, we hope to help create a world where every woman has the chance to succeed and achieve her full potential. There may still be a long way to go for women to feel truly equal in the workplaces, with unforeseen challenges ahead, but I am emboldened by the progress I’ve witnessed even in my own career and I look forward to continuing the fight while empowering the women of tomorrow to join our ranks.
Rebecca recently discussed the challenges she’s faced as a woman business leader in the podcast SheVentures. Listen here and be sure to connect with Rebecca on Facebook and Instagram.