International Women’s Day 2022

A decorative image with sketch rendering of a group of three women together hugging, wearing pink. A sketch rendering of a woman wearing an off-the-shoulder pink shirt and holding a white purse is in the middle. To her right is a sketch rendering of a woman with curly hair, wearing a halter dress. To her right, a woman with short hair and wearing a suit jacket. Text reads "International Women's Day 2022, hashtag Break the Bias."

It’s Women’s History Month, and today is International Women’s Day 2022. It’s also known as International Working Women’s Day 2022, and even though it’s not always called this, I thought I’d throw it out there just in case.

Before I go any further, I need to make it clear that when I say “women,” I’m also including those who identify as women regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth. To me, they’re women and girls too. If you identify as a woman, this post is dedicated to you, and this day is yours.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is Break the Bias. Yours truly’s a woman herself, and as such, I’ve come across people with so many biases and preconceived ideas about me during this job search and the one I had back in college.

Example? During my college job hunt, I came across one company where the hiring manager made these redunkulous assumptions about me based on where I live. They beat around the bush about it, but they made it clear they weren’t interested in me because of the neighborhood I live in. If this isn’t a sad (and fucked up) example of bias and discrimination, idk what is. That company went out of business years ago, so no loss there if that’s anything to go by.

Fast forward to this life sentence. I applied for a role with a niche staffing agency. No names. The Powers that Be decided that I just wasn’t worth the job I applied at, since it wasn’t like-for-like, so they’d be pairing me with so-called freelance jobs that pay literal pennies. I signed up for an account there just for that role, and deleted it as soon as they sent me the email informing me of their decision.

And people have the literal gall to wonder why I’m fuckin’ done with freelance work. SMH.

Anyways, back to the world of biases, preconceived ideas, stereotypes, and discrimination. These are just two examples of many I’ve personally experienced in my life sentence. Since I’ve got a post in the works about this, I’ll limit this to just these two, and shift the focus elsewhere instead.

This Forbes article talks about how harmful biases really are, even if the biases are in favor of someone. Let’s be honest, has that ever really been the case? I’ll press X to doubt on that one. Biases don’t just hurt women, they hurt everyone, whether we’re aware of it or not. Women are still by and large underrepresented in leadership roles, regardless of ethnicity or racial identity.

The pandemic sure didn’t help matters any, that’s for damn sure. I’m not sure where you readers were, but you’re more than welcome to share what you were doing during that time. During the pandemic, right before this blog came to be, I was my mom’s caregiver, running out every single day for her and putting my life in danger, all the while working a wildly underpaying job with the few meager assignments I was able to get.

I was terrified that I’d get COVID, no matter what the CDC and the WHO said, even though I did as I was told.

Whatever you were doing during the pandemic, you were trying to survive. That’s something you should be damn proud of. Nobody gets to take that away from you.

Since women are so underrepresented in leadership, the Forbes piece talks about perfectionism. Show of hands, who here’s got firsthand familiarity with it?

Full disclosure: I do. I still try to be perfect. Sure as shyt helps, doesn’t it? It’s what everyone else wants, isn’t it?

When I started this blog, I held myself to an unrealistic standard. I aimed for one post per business day, and ever since my mom died, it’s been hell trying to keep up with that.

The Forbes piece states that “Done is better than perfect.” Progress, not perfection. With perfection comes comparison, and we all know what they say about comparison. The Forbes piece even goes on to quote Iyanla Vanzant. (‘member her? Pepperidge Farm remembers!)

“Negative comparisons are an act of violence against oneself.”

Truer words were never spoken, Iyanla. I’m pretty sure I remember her saying that on an episode of Starting Over. It was this reality show that lasted for like two seconds back in the 00s/aughts. It aired during the daytime, before the soaps, People’s Court, Judge Joe Mathis, and Jerry Springer. I was in college, and I’d watch it before I’d leave for class..

The truth is, comparing ourselves to others gets nothing done and gets us nowhere new. It’s comparing apples to oranges.

True story, I used to compare myself to a cousin everyone literally obsessed over and doted on. They were everything I wasn’t: thin, pretty, and popular. You name it, they were in it in school. I used to feel like total garbage that I wasn’t them.

Until I got to thinking. Cousin So-and-So had access to opportunities that I didn’t. Cousin So-and-So didn’t have to go through what I had to. Cousin So-and-So wasn’t dealt the hand I was dealt.

I did the best I could with what I understood to be true, with the resources I had access to at the time. So are you.

I’m sure people look at me and wish they could be like me. People probably look at you readers and wish they could be like you too.

To those wishing you could be like whoever, you’re enough. You go out there, you’re killing it in whatever way you are, and you’re enough.

The Forbes piece also states that fear is born out of biases and stereotypes, where women were typically told outright that they can’t do ABC and XYZ. If they weren’t told outright, it’s implied.

I don’t have the direct experience that every Tom, Dick and Harry has declared their hill to die on for recruiting, but I have skills that overlap.

How ’bout you, readers? Are you going in a new direction with your jobs? Yes? No? Maybe so? I hope you members of Team Yes will join me in this.

When you think of women in leadership, what comes to mind? Working Girl? What if I were to tell you that same article says the following?

“You don’t need a title to be a leader. Nor do you need to be asked or given permission or assigned into a formal role. Nope. All you need to do is to decide that you’re going to show up with the courage that you admire in some and want to see more of in others; that you will be the role model for other women you may wished you’d had yourself.”

How ’bout them apples? I guess this makes me a leader. Too bad companies don’t give a rat’s ass, haha.

Over to you, readers? How are you gonna #BreakTheBias today? Got any plans to celebrate International Women’s Day? I’d love to hear all about it, along with any new directions you’re gonna take your jobs, so drop it all like it’s hot below, and let’s talk.

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