It was once a man’s world. 2018 was the year of the woman. All statements that we’ve heard or read in the last year or so. March is Women’s History Month and so we are revisiting these statements as they pertain to the importance of this month. Women's History Month commemorates and encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
Women have made a tremendous impact in the world we live in. Not just in recent decades but hundreds of years of impact. From science to music, education to technology, HERstory is woven into America’s rich past, today’s vibrant society and tomorrow’s innovation.
Medicine: “If society will not admit of woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled.” - Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell requested admission to a number of medical schools only to be rejected over and over again. Some of the letters stated that Ms. Blackwell was “intellectually inferior.” She was eventually accepted to Geneva Medical College, graduated first in her class and became the first female doctor in America. She went on to create a medical school for women. A grand visionary who created opportunities for female physicians of the future, Blackwell published several books over the course of her career, including her 1895 autobiography Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women.
Music: "Only a few of the many women [songwriters] in America had their music published and heard during the late 19th and early 20th centuries." According to Richard A. Reublin and Richard G. Beil, the "lack of mention of women [songwriters] is a glaring and embarrassing omission in our musical heritage.
More than 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. During the Civil War, however, American women turned their attention to the world outside the home. Thousands of women in the North and South joined volunteer brigades and signed up to work as nurses. It was the first time in American history that women played a significant role in a war effort. By the end of the war, these experiences had expanded many Americans’ definitions of “true womanhood.”
Today’s Vibrant Society
The role of women in the United States has changed dramatically over the past few decades. More women have taken on responsibilities outside the home than in the home.
According to a 2017 U.S. Department of Labor Blog:
There are 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force.
Almost 47 percent of U.S. workers are women.
More than 39 percent of women work in occupations where women make up at least three-quarters of the workforce.
Women own close to 10 million businesses, accounting for $1.4 trillion in receipts.
Female veterans tend to continue their service in the labor force: About 3 out of 10 serve their country as government workers.
Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 participate in the labor force, with over 75 percent employed full-time.
Mothers are the primary or sole earners for 40 percent of households with children under 18 today, compared with 11 percent in 1960.
Women are also stepping up to lead the country; a record number of women ran for public office in 2018, and a record-high percentage of women are serving in Congress. In addition to making progress on issues of economics and leadership, women have made progress on health issues, which impact women’s personal well-being, as well as their economic security.
One only need to hear the words “me too” to feel the impact of women’s voices in today’s society. Me too is more than bringing about awareness of the hideous sexual harassment women have endured for decades. It has blossomed into giving women a rightful voice in creating gender equality in America and the world. From equal pay to an equal voice, women are demanding to be valued for their knowledge and their incredible contributions to society.
Despite women’s advancements, however, substantial inequalities remain. Although an increasing number of women are either the sole breadwinner for their family or share the role with their partners, women in the United States are paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The pay gap is even larger for women of color. On average, African American women make 64 cents for every dollar that white men make.
Because of the conversations of today, the women of tomorrow will have more opportunities, chances to be equal, to be seen on the same level. Most importantly, they will be empowered to stand up for themselves and for each other from the beginning. Women and men are lifting women to higher levels today which will open the door for incredible innovation tomorrow.
We see an America with gender parity. We see tomorrow as a better today. At Ensemble, we are each a part of the whole. Together we make beautiful music, impactful businesses and authentic connections.
Celebrate International Women’s Day with Ensemble on Friday, March 8th from 9 - 10:30 for Coffee Talk, Create Balance for Better. This is an inclusive conversation about most the common ways gender bias plays out in the entrepreneurial world and create action items to help create gender balance. More information HERE.
Ensemble is a collaborative business community and coworking space located just minutes from downtown Ft. Worth in the popular Near Southside. We offer busy entrepreneurs, small businesses and remote workers a warm and welcoming place to be productive.