Many of you are likely familiar with International Women’s Day (March 8) or Women’s History Month (March), but may not have heard of Women’s Equality Day which is celebrated annually today, August 26.
I’m pleased to share some history of why we celebrate it today along with a few reasons this date is so meaningful to me and a few of the women on our leadership team.
Women’s Equality Day recognizes the right for women to vote. At the behest of Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
Women’s Equality Day is all about uplifting and empowering women, and marveling at how far women have progressed, defying all odds and oppression. For me personally, women have been critical throughout my career. Focusing in public relations and communications I have been afforded the luxury of working in a female-dominated field and had the opportunity to learn from some of the best leaders there are. But when really thinking about the meaning of this day – women who fought for other women to just have a chance at the same options as their male peers – I can’t help but think of my mom and how hard she worked as a high school teacher, inspiring and pushing so many young women to strive for everything available to them. She always encouraged me to excel and reach for my goals – college wasn’t an option growing up, it was a given. In my humble opinion, she embraces the same spirit of those crusaders of the 1970s and before to make sure women never lose sight of their value and power.
Here’s some thoughts from our own powerful female leaders on why Women’s Equality Day is so important and personal to them.
"Thank you to all the amazing women who followed their dreams and blazed the trails for future generations. We are a better world when we set free the talents of all humans." Kristin Krajecki, Chief Revenue Officer
“When I was young I read about the story of Helen Keller and the challenges in her life. I was captivated by her story and how she overcame her challenges. During one of my childhood book reports, I clearly remember a comment: "she was delayed at picking up language, but that did not stop her from having a voice.” One of my favorite quotes from her is: "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”
Everything we do makes a difference, and we have the power to do the best in everything we do.” – Joni Woo, Vice President, Customer Success
"This day is an important reminder to not only continue to support one another, but also a reminder to celebrate and recognize each other." – Lia Hanson, Vice President, Marketing
“I have been lucky enough to work for three incredible women in my career – Eileen Murray, Priyanka Singh and Joan Bader – each one a power house in her perspective field (CEO, Chief of Staff and head of Technology), shattering glass ceilings.
I met these women early in my career where each always kept a seat at the table for me and encouraged me to find my voice. They mentored me, coached and developed me. They were never in it just for themselves. While they were the first in their fields to do a lot (i.e., first female CEO of Bridgewater) they were making sure they weren’t the last. Because of what they have done for me and how far they have brought me, I owe it to pay it forward and do the same for the women I can help.” Brooke Bento, Chief People Officer
What makes Women’s Equality Day Important to you? We’d love to hear how you’re honoring and celebrating all of the pioneering women who came before us!