A letter to my two year old daughter on International Women’s Day… (to read when she’s older)
When you came into this world I felt a great sense of gratitude, but was overcome with an enormous sense of responsibility. Because despite the massive gains women have made over the last three decades that I’ve been alive, not enough has changed. As you navigate yourself through the next three decades, you too will likely have to fight the same fight, but you won’t be alone, I’ll be there championing you every step of the way.
You’ll have to work twice as hard to get half as far, with fewer tools in your kit.
You’ll be frustrated with the lack of support and your confidence will no doubt take a hit.
Because they’ll tell you they’re inclusive, they value diversity and that you belong.
However, very few will put those words into action, but that won’t stop you becoming strong.
They’ll coach you to be grateful, they’ll secretly hold you back.
They’ll be threatened by your honesty and integrity and for all the things they lack.
They’ll assume you’re more junior than you are and undermine you much of the time.
You’ll face stronger headwinds than your male counterparts and it will drive you out of your mind.
You’ll be overworked and under recognised, but that won’t stop you from shining.
You’ll pave your own path, despite being burnt out, because this is the fight you’ll keep fighting.
You see a truly equitable world, is one designed with your needs in mind.
Where opportunities are equally accessible despite you being of ‘your kind’.
Within this system designed to hold you back, you’ll find some incredible gems.
They’ll raise you up, always cheer you on and become some of your most dependable friends.
Hold those rare people close and pay that service forward as well.
Because being another woman’s sponsor is what will truly help them excel.
Be sure to set the example, of what inclusive and empathetic leaders can do.
And only work for companies that are prioritizing this inclusive culture too!
Vote with your feet, stand up for your rights and always champion what you believe.
Because there’ll be so many others needing your help in navigating this unlevel playing field.
So always push for equity, in every form that it appears.
Don’t let your voice be silenced, for it will go on to shape other people’s careers.
The world may not always seem fair, but your true worth will always remain.
For you will grow with kindness at your core and over time the dial will shift a little again.
Because with more women at the table we’ll achieve far greater than they could believe.
It’s nurturing diversity, inclusion and belonging that will truly help organisations succeed.
I’m hopeful things will be different for you and that there’ll be no glass ceiling to break.
I want to raise you in a more equitable world, and I’ll do whatever it takes.
Happy International Women’s Day Niya, here’s to you travelling a more equitable path ❤️