Dear women and girls!
March 8th, 2020.
I am writing to you on this very important day to congratulate you on how far you have come, and everything you have accomplished!
I am writing to you because I am so very proud of your strength, your bravery, and your will to make the world a better place!
I began my career in advertising in the 80’s … and yes it was exactly like Mad Men, even though it was several decades later!
Anyone who knew me then, knows I have always had a tough time keeping my mouth shut when I feel something needs to be said.
I opened my mouth and spoke up when men in the agency had golf memberships included in their salary.
I wore ties to the office on a regular basis because whenever a man in the agency received a promotion, they cut off his tie and hung a portion of it in the bar upstairs (of course there was a bar in the agency!). I figured they weren’t promoting me because I wasn’t wearing a tie!
I sent back the expensive gifts that arrived on my desk from clients for no apparent reason, until the call came the next day to meet them for dinner so we could ‘discuss business’.
I made a deal with all of the girls in the agency who had to work late, that they would call each other, and meet as a group to go down in the elevator together. It was never safe traveling alone in the elevator when the bar upstairs was in full swing.
I went to H.R. and reported a sexual harassment incident when a senior client was inappropriate during a business dinner in the U.S. They told me never to speak of it again, since the business was worth 50 million dollars … U.S.D. There will always be reasons we’re told not to speak up, or speak out. Those are the most important moments of all to follow your instincts and to stand up for what is right.
I said what needed to be said, and I suffered for it.
Today on International Women’s Day, I am excited to not only watch, but also to experience the incredible changes that have taken place!!
Thank you to the women and men who have opened their mouths and spoken up. We certainly aren’t there yet, but every day we continue to strive for what is fair, and what is right.
The year 2020 represents an unmissable opportunity to mobilize global action to achieve gender equality and human rights for all women and girls.