March 8th marked the celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), which annually highlights the importance in the movement for women’s rights. Raising awareness against bias, taking action for equality, and challenging gendered actions against women in order to create change remains important.

There are countless issues facing women such as domestic abuse and lack of leadership positions, due to gender discrimination. Yet, many women continue to show courage and determination in their everyday lives, and have played a critical role in the workplace and the fight against COVID-19 as essential workers; in addition to managing households while supervising the online schooling of children at home.

While IWD was celebrated earlier on, March is Women’s History Month. At C-CRETS, we have used our platform to speak up on the need for greater gender equality in the workplace.

According to Payscale.com, in 2020, women earned 81 cents for every dollar men earned. In addition, women are underrepresented in high-earning jobs, as well as in leadership roles, including the C-Suite. Part of the reason women face bias is due to the belief that women will not be as committed to or leave the workforce due to family matters, including pregnancy.

In recognizing Women’s History Month, it’s important to be aware of the issues women face today. While women earn less in the workforce, the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted that women bear most of the childcare and household responsibilities.

Women continue to challenge many of the gendered expectations and biases placed on them. It’s been this willingness to defy expectations that have propelled historical changes for women including in the areas of education, politics, and work. Yet lasting change also require a commitment not only by women, but by their male counterparts as well.

C-CRETS spotlights voices of women during Women’s History Month.

Dorit Cypis discusses transforming whiteness in order to create a more inclusive workplace. In a conversation with Theresa Robinson, she reveals how Black women can find their voices. And former Black Panther Party leader, Elaine Brown, provides a historical journey of the struggle for social justice over the past 50 years.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, here’s what you can do.

Support underrepresented, women-owned businesses

Careerbuilder.com reported that 55% of minority-owned businesses conducted layoffs,  furloughs, or shut down during the pandemic.

These statistics are even more dismal considering that women-owned businesses are a subset of this group.

This month, increase your support for not only the minority-led businesses who are standing after COVID, but those with female owners at the helm. Seek out entrepreneurs who are providing a service or product that you need.

Mentor female colleagues

Mentoring and professional development contributes to women in the workplace  realizing their highest potential. Take time out this month to mentor a woman within your sphere of influence who can benefit from your experience or insight. The right mentor, even within a limited period of time, can help pave the way for more women reaching the top of the career ladder.

Be a Political Advocate

Speak up on policies that affect women at work and in your community. These policies will affect someone you love.

By lending a voice to issues that affect women, you can positively impact change on matters that may have a compound effect, from the length of maternity leave to the social policies in your area.  

Though we celebrate the achievements of women this month, there is a long road ahead to achieve equality. Let us reinforce our commitment to uplifting women and continue to effectively empower our future leaders.

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