Happy International Women’s Day 2021.
ICYMI, the theme for this year’s IWD is #choosetochallenge.
While the pandemic has been a wonderful wake up call to accelerate change in some areas, the research (and actions) is showing that it has had an adverse impact on women in the workplace – promotions, senior appointments, networking opportunities, being visible.
This post isn’t intended to be a rant. Its aim is to raise awareness about topics that we as women discuss and think about, but perhaps don’t say out loud often enough. Because of fear. Because of judgment. Because it may compromise our careers. Because it may be expected of us to soldier on and push through. Because it’s not yet the norm.
Indeed, I am grateful to all of the incredible women (and men) who have broken ceilings and removed jar lids, in order to get us to this point. However, we all know that there is so much more to challenge.
So, here’s what I am choosing to challenge, out loud, and it’s not what you think.
First, I’m curious to understand what your workplace is doing to support women in the following areas (which, sadly, still remain taboo, notwithstanding they affect so many):
- Female hormones, and the fact that women are affected by their menstrual cycle. Every. Single. Month
- Egg freezing
- Fertility issues, and IVF
- The first trimester of pregnancy. Specifically, how we are told to keep this a secret when in fact it’s the most difficult and anxious part of the journey; a time when a woman may not feel optimal at all, and her mind, body and spirit are working in overdrive to perform the greatest miracle of all – creating life
- Breastfeeding and more so, the emotions that come with stopping breastfeeding
If your workplace is not addressing these issues, perhaps it’s time to ask why, and how that might look if it wanted to start?
If your workplace is addressing them, that’s fantastic, and I’d encourage you to share its initiatives to inspire others.
Another topic I #choosetochallenge is how we might better balance our divine feminine, individually and collectively.
Stay with me for a minute as I explain what this means, if it is a concept which is unfamiliar to you.
The Shiva – masculine, yang or sun energy – corresponds to the right side of our body, and the left hemisphere of the brain. The masculine represents order, thinking, individuality, logic, intellect, competition, schedules, “get it done”, boxes, rectangles, straight edges.
Note, this is the energy which defines most of our society, institutions and organisations.
The Shakti – feminine, yin or moon energy – corresponds to the left side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain. The feminine represents intuition, community, circles, curves, flow, feelings, emotions and finding ways to support and work together.
According to the yogic philosophy, “balance” means a 70:30 split between the dual energies. That is, 70% feminine; 30% masculine if you are female. 70% masculine; 30% feminine if you are a male.
While workplaces and society play catch up on both of these topics, please know that you are not alone.
There are so many other women that have walked in your very shoes – through the struggle, the heartache and the juggle. In secret, when that didn’t serve them.
Today and every day, I choose to celebrate the female existence, the Sisterhood, and the power of the divine feminine.
In gratitude and support,
Our guest contributor - Anna Lozynski is an executive general counsel and author. She believes that legal innovation is invigorating, change is energising and efficiency will never go out of fashion. Anna has studied law in Melbourne, Beijing, Utrecht and Boston. Starting out at a major Australian law firm, she has spent the majority of her legal career in-house working in the banking, automotive and cosmetics industries. Described as a change agent, Anna is a sought-after commentator and speaker both domestically and internationally – seeking to shift the dialogue in order to propel the profession forward.
Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you.
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