By: Madeline Pontius, Digital Marketing Assistant
Each year on March 8, International Women’s Day takes place. International Women’s Day is day dedicated to promoting equitable and non-discriminatory employment practices. On a global scale this day is highly inclusive, allowing anyone to participate in the celebration of women’s successes.
On February 29, 1909, in honor of the one-year anniversary of the garment strike led by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, 15,000 women went on strike for long hours, low pay, and the lack of voting rights in New York City.
In March 1910, German activist Clara Zetkin suggested that International Women’s Day be recognized as an international holiday at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen and all 17 countries in attendance agreed.
As a recent college graduate and a young woman beginning my career journey, I’ve found myself surrounded in a work environment with some of the most empowering and influential women. These women are all at different stages of their life, and yet we are still navigating this rapidly changing world together. For International Women’s Day, I asked myself and my colleagues a reflection question to help inspire other women and girls and to ensure that they can succeed in this world!
“Listen more closely to your intuition…….you are smarter than you think!”
“You’re only as good as the company you keep. As long as you keep surrounding yourself with people who care about you, motivate you, and support you, you can accomplish anything.”
“Take risks, live boldly, and follow your dreams. The road less traveled on might not be easy but it is also never boring.”
“I would say that what other people think of you doesn’t matter it only matters what you think of yourself, if you believe you can you can.”
“If you can make it through this second you can make it through the next.”
Growing up I was always overwhelmed by the future, and I was given this advice to stop me from getting too wrapped up in thinking about everything so far ahead of me. The meaning behind it is to put you back into the present while understanding that those seconds will eventually turn into minutes, hours, days, months, and years.”
“Stay the course.”
“Never follow your head or your heart — listen to your gut instead.”
“Don’t let what you feel weak in define you or dissuade you from getting better at it.”
This piece of advice was recently given to me and it was so profound to realize just how many times I had given up on learning or honing a new skill because I felt weak in it. Your weaknesses do not define you nor are they meant to keep you from doing something. If anything, your weakness should be what determines you most. Now when someone tells me I can’t do something or they point out a weakness of mine, I say “challenge accepted”. I very much wish my younger self had the courage to challenge her own weaknesses in that way.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be your authentic self. Don’t be easily offended, if someone is unkind to you it’s more than likely it’s themselves they are disgruntled or disappointed with not you. Enjoy the journey! Go easy on the sun. Eat and exercise for health. Do not insult yourself, make sure self-talk is kind and motivating. Travel the world whenever possible. Meet people on your journey and learn about new culture first hand. It’s ok to not rush and take time to relax. Acknowledge your love for friends and family often.”
“A piece of advice I would tell my younger self would be, travel as much as you can and take those risks. You will meet the greatest people when you are authentically yourself.”
I would not give any advices to you, my younger self, but instead I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for always believing in yourself. I admire your resilience and strength, your ability to overcome obstacles and keep going even when the going gets tough. You have faced challenges and setbacks with grace and determination, and I am so proud of you for never giving up.
Most of all, I am thankful for the way you care for yourself, both physically and emotionally. You make self-care a priority, taking the time to nurture your body and mind in ways that help you feel your best. You know your worth and treat yourself with love and respect, and that is something to be truly admired.
With gratitude, Yourself”
“Trust your Gut.”
“Be more adventurous, take the risk, and don’t be afraid of the unknown. That’s what makes the journey more fun. And, you’ll have some great stories to share later.”
“Be absolutely true to yourself by never undervaluing your worth (no pun intended)”
“Invest in Apple and Microsoft stock and travel the world before getting married and having children.”
“Stop making comparisons and focus on yourself. Everyone’s situation and life journey are different. Focus on your own growth. Everything will come together how and when it is meant to be.”
I’m ecstatic to be a part of the team at JWilliams Staffing, a woman-founded company who are leaders, dreamers, and innovators. As we continue to celebrate and honor the women all around the world and the impact they’ve created in our lives and communities, I want to say thank you to all the strong, inspiring, and powerful women who have made our world a better place!
Images are sourced from Women’s Suffrage in the U.S.: Photos - The Atlantic