Statistics show us that, on average, men are better paid, but women are better educated.
Men dominate the top jobs, at least in business, while women do most of the unpaid work and care at home.
Working women, despite having paid jobs, also bear the brunt of the housework. They devote an average of 28 hours a week to washing, cooking, lunches, carpools, solving family problems and decision-making.
Women are also the primary carers of elderly parents, with 92% cared for by daughters
and 8% by sons.
Based on these numbers, you could easily assume that being a woman means doing it all.
It also means being overloaded and undervalued.
You could also assume that the feminist movement long lost momentum in a dialogue that goes something like this: While women do have an undeniable biological need to nurture, many of us tend to exclude ourselves when it comes to the list of things we actively make time to care for. As a result, our health, wellbeing and happiness can suffer.
And you know what else? This is a perpetuating story.
This is information that we hear day after day.
It rarely changes. It’s a soundtrack that keeps us believing that all of this is real.
However, as long as we see these facts as real, we believe in these facts and we keep paying attention to these facts, guess what? We will keep unconsciously behaving in a way that sustains the story. We will keep getting these second-rate results for ourselves over and over and over again.
You know why? Because we interpret the world around us through our neurology. But, through neurology, we can also make important changes.
We each have our own reality – the way that we look at the world around us. We each have the power to change this reality by changing the way we look at the world around us.
Each individual is responsible for his/her own experience.
Therefore, for us to create a movement and a powerful change, we women (as a collective) need to see, believe and perceive a different story.
We need to let go of our limiting beliefs and old stories.
The statistics relating to the gender gap haven’t really changed in the 50 years since we began having open discussions about equality.
I believe that the reason we haven’t made much progress is because we are not giving ourselves permission to feel truly individually empowered. If we want change, then we need to instigate change. We need to look at the situation differently and shift our mindsets.
Quite simply: If we stop believing the rhetoric, if we stop believing that we’re the ‘second sex’ and start believing that we’re equal, then we will have made an important step in the journey towards change.
Ladies, it is time for us to rewrite the story… To start nurturing ourselves, to begin acknowledging our individual contributions to this life, honoring our own unique and special set of talents that no one else can possibly emulate.
We need to start loving ourselves and backing ourselves… and backing each other.
The moment we begin to value ourselves more, the world around us will have no choice but to follow suit.
By altering what we are willing to accept as true, we can create change. The world around us can only treat us as the ‘second sex’ if we let it.
What we put out, we get back. And what we perceive, we believe.
It really is as uncomplicated as this. The catch is the commitment. To create real, lasting and transformational change we need commitment. This is where we must not falter. We will only succeed if we start today, continue tomorrow and keep going into next week and beyond, telling ourselves and each other and the world around us the new story, until it becomes the real story in our minds and in the minds of those around us.
Catherine Plano is an International Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker, Self-Made Entrepreneur, Leadership Development and Facilitator, and a member of the Ellevate Network. She is also the editor-in-chief of I AM WOMAN magazine.
Connect with Catherine at her website, www.catherineplano.