Over the last few weeks, I have learned that if I were a 1990’s rock star I’d be Kim Deal from the “Breeders.” If I were a “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” character, I’d be Willow. If I were on “Scandal,” I’d be Olivia Pope. My ’90s style icon is Angela Chase from “My So Called Life” and Jess from the “Gilmore Girls” is my perfect fake TV boyfriend. While these quizzes are fun Facebook filler and a nostalgic trip down memory lane, I’m also telling myself these addictive time wasters serve a higher purpose, reminding me, although somewhat tongue in cheek, about the legacy and importance of trailblazing, innovative, creative and well-dressed women.
March marks the beginning of women’s history month, and as they say, well behaved women rarely make history. This year’s theme “Women of Courage, Character, and Commitment” celebrates the “extraordinary and often time undetermined tenacity of women,” and honors 10 women who made, or are making, a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world.
A recent report indicated that although women continue to make strides toward pay equality, we still earn less than our male counterparts. And whether you use the 77 cents on the dollar figure or 90 cents on the dollar figure, less is less. Additionally, according to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review, despite the strides women have made in the boardroom, male executives still view “family issues” as a woman’s problem.
When male executives interviewed for the study choose work over family if a conflict arose, they framed their answers in terms of their role as breadwinners.
While women who self-identified as highly paid or as “breadwinners” for their families may also choose work over family, they expressed a serious amount of guilt over the resolution.
In fact, one female study participant acknowledged that her ability to keep her full time, well-paying job was dependent upon her ability to get the “practical” paid help she needed. All this paid help, however, did not eradicate her guilt from missing first steps, soccer games, school presentations and recitals.
The intent of the piece, however, is not to debate the merits of work life balance, of leaning in, opting out, or any other strategies families and women are employing on any given day. I simply want to celebrate all the amazing women I know who are making their own history, influencing the next generation of leaders, thinkers and creators. So cheers to you and know that your contributions are worthwhile, valuable and important, even if it doesn’t feel that way when you’re covered in baby spit up, missing a game or late for a deadline.
And I want to thank outgoing Destin Mayor Sam Severs for her years of service to the city of Destin and the Emerald Coast. Through her work and example, young people can see the value of public service and how commitment to your community can be fulfilling and worthwhile work. Best of luck and continued success in your next adventures.
I hope you’ll all spend some time this month celebrating the trailblazing women in your life — celebrating their accomplishments and recognizing the value found in everyday accomplishments. But first, you should really find out which “Golden Girl” you are.
Follow Susan Moody on Twitter @susanjmoody and visit her blog, The Emerald Coast Insider, at www.emeraldcoasttreasurebox.com.