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Wendy van Ierschot on: International Women's day

Growth

|

March 9, 2020

May 19, 2020

Do we really need International Women's Day, some people may wonder. 

TIME recently presented their 100 Women of the Year project. The magazine created new covers for the years 1920 to 2019, with a woman on each of the newly designed covers. TIME is showing an amazing example with this 100 Women of the year project. For 72 years, they named a Man of the Year. Then in 1999, Man of the Year gave way to Person of the Year. But the vast majority in this list are men. I know 80% of the names. 

I wish I recognized the majority of the names as I do with the names on the Man/ Person of the Year list, but I don’t. I don’t even recognize 30% of them…

Caroline Criado Perez showed in her book Invisible Women (2019), how we are systematically ignoring half the population. The book exposes the gender data gap. From government policy and medical research to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media. Is anyone to blame? I don’t think so, but now we know we can choose to take our responsibility and act to improve circumstances for women and all other minority groups in business. I know the majority of men want that too, but sometimes we just don’t know how unaware we are of our own behavior. 

Last year I watched I Am Not an Easy Man. That movie suddenly made me aware of my own biases. Seeing women in men’s behavior and the other way around was a good way to recognize the absurdness we have created. 

This is my homework for the coming years: to reframe and train my brain, connecting influential and powerful positions with pictures of inspiring and influential people from all backgrounds and regions –– excluding no one. I will search for examples that stimulate my brain to become more open, that challenge my stereotype thinking. 

Please feed me with your ideas and proposals. What would happen if we all really would do that? 

Have a great inclusive day!

Warm regards and a hug, 

Wendy


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