Celebrated annually on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day was first celebrated in 1973 to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment on the same day in 1920. A day to not only remember the amazing accomplishments of women of the past, it’s also a day to strive for more now and to work towards a better future for women everywhere. Here are a couple of ways you can celebrate Women’s Equality Day this year, along with some advice from the many amazing and intelligent women (as well as our CEO, Shafat Qazi!) who work here at BQE Software.
Learn from the Past
There is never a wrong time to celebrate the accomplishments of the women who paved the way to today. Though there is much work to be done to reach equality for women, the internet is a trove of knowledge on the women who came before us and the many great things they have done. Spend some time learning about some of the events and people whose efforts lead to Women’s Equality Day:
- The 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade: A parade held in 1913 that is considered to be the first major national efforts undertaken towards women’s suffrage.
- Biography.com and History.com: Read about influential figures in the movement, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and many others who worked towards the 19th Amendment.
- National Women’s History Alliance: Visit the National Women’s History Alliance resources page for information on Women’s Equality Day, such as their ‘How Women Won the Vote Gazette’
We asked the women of BQE: In your opinion, what characteristics make a woman strong?
“Self-confidence, someone who is self-aware. You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses. Compassionate and someone with a survivor-mindset. Life is super unpredictable, but you need to be resilient to keep going- even when things seem the darkest.” – Saleha Patel
“I believe that optimism, ambition, and empathy make a woman strong.” – Maegan Escobar
“I believe putting yourself out there, taking the leap, and showing vulnerability takes a lot more courage and strength than what others may realize. We become brave when we lean into our vulnerability and embrace it. We are able to make connections. Our strength is our ability to be vulnerable. Brené Brown says it best: ‘Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable. But they’re never weakness.’” – Sarah Wyman
“A strong woman is someone who always maintains their compass of right and wrong, stays true to their principles, and remains focused without losing themselves in the process.” – Pam McGinty
“To have grit. Despite any hardships, setbacks, or challenges the world throws at you, you get up and push through.” Rachel Bawe
Celebrate the Present
The efforts and actions of women are what make the world go around. Whether it be in your home, your workplace, your gym, or elsewhere, their influence cannot be denied. Take the time to recognize and support the women who make a difference in your life. Below are some great ways you can do this in the workplace:
- Give a Shout Out: Take the time to recognize the women of your office. Whether it be through your company’s Slack page, at the monthly meeting, or with a LinkedIn Kudos, it’s a simple way to show your appreciation!
- Encourage their Development: Have established growth and development plans in place for your employees so they can continue to strive for more. Include reviews, meetings, and mentorship opportunities in their development so that women have more opportunities and skills at their disposal.
- Create Opportunities for them: Invest in the women of your company. Take suggestions and feedback as gifts to learn from. Provide opportunities for leadership roles and initiatives- these are not only chances for the women of your company to excel, but for your company to thrive as well.
“Don’t wait for your turn. Be proactive. Share your views openly and participate in all meetings and corporate events. Your managers and leaders can learn a lot from you.”
– Shafat Qazi, CEO and Founder of BQE Software
We asked the women of BQE: What advice do you want to give to the young women of today?
“Let no one ever tell you that you cannot do something because you are a woman. Have the courage to change the status quo and the world will follow in your footsteps.” – Samina Masoodi
“To not accept defeat- in the sense that if there is a problem, think of solutions to concentrate on to achieve your goal. Focus on the positives in your lives. There are too many things in life, especially these days, to get you down. Stand up for what you believe in- especially yourself.” Denise Karp
“Walk with purpose and seek your passion. Yes, there will be mundane tasks and struggles along the way, but clear vision will emblaze a path that will provide opportunities you cannot even imagine. Always take action; work ethic eliminates fear.” – Melissa Glossup
“Advocate for yourself! Share your ideas, speak up in meetings, ask questions, and absorb as much knowledge as you can.” – Rueen Andrabi
Plan for the Future
To truly work towards women’s equality, you have to continuously plan for a better future. There is still much to change across the world- but there is always something to be done to work towards this. As you celebrate Women’s Equality Day, be sure to strive for a better tomorrow- by acting today. Here are a few ways you can do your part and work towards equality:
- Register to Vote: Vote! Women’s Equality Day was created to honor the efforts made for women to have the right to vote- it’s the foundation of the day itself. Register to vote and be sure your voice is heard.
- Share your Knowledge: Let people know the significance of Women’s Equality Day! LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, in person- however you choose to share it, knowledge is power!
- Support the Movement: Volunteer, Donate, Petition- there are many ways you can work towards women’s equality. Find an organization supporting women’s rights that you believe in and do what you can to support the movement.
For our last question, we asked the women of BQE: What inspires you to make the world a better place for the women of the future?
“The fact that there still exists inequality even in the most advanced nations of the world and that women still need to go out of their way to prove their worth – this inspires me to try my best to make the small world around me a better and fairer place to live for all women and men alike. Encouraging women and promoting their worth can help lessen this inequality for sure.” – Naira Yaqoob
“So that future generations of women will have a better place to live in, where they have all opportunities available to them and they will not have to settle for less for them to be able to achieve their dreams and aspirations.” – Erwina Argueta
“Start them young! Raise our daughters to be self-confident and strong. Raise our sons to be respectful and empathetic. If we can start teaching our children good core values at a young age, the world will be a better place not only for women but for everyone.” – Jeah Avila
“My daughter. As I watch her coming into her own, working hard, and aspiring to reach her goals, it makes me want to cheer for her and try in however small ways I can to bring on positive changes for women.” – Kari Weinberger
“All the women in my life inspire me to make the world a better place. I have been blessed with the best mother, sister, and friends. They are all amazing examples of what great strong women are, and I look up to each of them for their different qualities.” Sekina Najam