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Tue, Mar 8, 2011

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2011 International Women’s Day: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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When I was asked to write this post in celebration of 2011 International Women’s Day, initially I was flattered.  However, when I went to their website and read about their 100 years of history, I became honored.

Well, make that paralyzed.

What could I offer that would possibly be worthy of the sacrifice millions of women have put into this day? And as I was thinking of this very question, I heard the story of an immigrant who came to America searching for a better life. He certainly found one – actually he created one – by building a multi-million dollar business that has survived for more than three generations.

Looking back at his experience, the old man said he “gave everything so my child would have the opportunity to be a doctor, so his child could become an artist.”

I laughed.

Actually, I laughed because he laughed. There was no hint of bitterness in his voice. No lingering disappointment that his grandchild didn’t go into the family trade. Just a genuine sense of pride that his hard work had enabled his son… and his son’s son… to follow their passion and live their dreams.

Suddenly I was reminded of why we pause on this day. This man’s grandchild may never fully understand or appreciate all of the efforts made on his behalf, but that was success in itself.

Likewise, I’ve never had to fight to get an education, to vote, or to work.

And then I understood.

On this 2011 International Women’s Day, I didn’t have to do anything spectacular or “worthy” in the eyes of the women who came before. I can just pause for a moment and appreciate the freedom to do what I love.

And that’s enough.

March 8, 2011 marks the global centenary of International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. MonsterThinking will be recognizing IWD’s 100th anniversary celebration by looking at the issues, and ideas, confronting women in the workforce.

For more on International Women’s Day, Excelle, Monster’s professional community for career-minded women,has handpicked the best articles and advice to help you get your foot in the door. Check out their 2011 International Women’s Day coverage by clicking here.

About the Author

Emily Benningtonis a Contributing Writer for Monster and the coauthor of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job (Ten Speed Press, 2010). Her next book is designed to help women excel in corporate environments. To lend your voice to this project by completing a short survey on gender in the workforce, please visit www.NewGirlzClub.com.

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  • http://www.CustomizeResume.com hemen parekh

    Gender Bind / Unfair Share

    In Times of India [ March 08,2011 ], Ms. Rema Nagarajan provides following insights :

     Women own 1 per cent of the world’s wealth, have a 10 per cent share in global income

     Women comprise half the world’s population but occupy just 14 per cent of leadership positions in the private and public sector

     Of the 1.4 billion people living on less than $ 1 a day, 70 per cent are women and girls

     Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, but earn only 10 percent of the income

     Women produce half of the world’s food, but own just 1 per cent of its land

     Of the almost 900 million adults worldwide who can’t read or write, two-thirds are women

    Will mankind [ on “ Women’s Day “ 2011, should I say, womankind ? ] manage to bridge this gap by end of 21st Century ?

    With regards

    hemen parekh


    Jobs for All = Peace on Earth