I join women the world over, to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Keying into the pledge for parity, I pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions #IWD2016.

In Part 1 of this topic, I explored the myth regarding women’s roles. Now, it is time to face our reality.

Profile and Reputation

Selecting one to run for either the exalted office of the president of a country, or the position of an office clerk, requires background check. When applying for a job, assessors want to know where that person has worked or been, and the backlog of experiences. Some visa applications require evidence of past travel, financial history, employment status, family records etc. Exam records are reviewed in selecting candidates for academic admission. With appropriate records, opportunities surface for attention. The apples become quite low hanging.

With the required profile in place, any woman can aspire for greater things.

Leaning In

In Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and The Will To Lead, she encourages women to overcome the “anxieties and preconceptions that stop women reaching the top- taking a place at the table, and making yourself a part of the debate.”

I totally agree, and would emphasize that when a woman seeks to be heard, it is not within the ambits of combat, defying status quo, nor arrogance. A woman leaning in, should seek to project & share opinion, listen, converse and exchange ideas.

The greatest barrier(s) that women have to face are the misconceptions and stereotypes that are thrown their way.

To be seen and not heard.

To live without purpose.

This notwithstanding, there are women leaders who have blazed several trails; and many women require their mentorship. Some unknowingly, take for granted the open doors now available to them. Sandberg states, “We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, women who had to fight for the rights that we now take for granted.”

Let me leave you with a quote by the First Lady of the United States of America; Michelle Obama.

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back.”

To our female trail blazers, please reach back and support women who desire to take that small step of faith into dignified womanhood.

I pledge to help women and girls achieve their ambitions.