You make the difference!
International Women's Day is no new thing. The first gathering happened as long ago as 1911 with over a million people supporting it, and today it has grown into a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. For me, it is the day to celebrate the achievements and growing empowerment of women all over the world. Although there is still a long way to go to achieve a perfect gender balance, we have come a good way from those early days in 1911.
We owe the change to the great role models throughout history. Their fascinating success stories which are sometimes also filled with tragedy – of how they fought their way through glass ceilings, numerous biases, unconventional career paths, and broken rules – have created the awareness to find justice and open doors for their daughters. I could name Rosa Parks, or Marie Curie, Coco Chanel, and Catherine the Great, to more recent super ladies such as Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Mary Barra. The list could go on and on.
Role models are a vital part of building faith and belief in ones own aspirations. I believe that many times, we undermine the power that simple encouragement can do. Supporting and empowering our women colleagues and friends, in fact, all the women around us is one of the best things we as individuals can do to enhance balance for better and ensure that we do not have to wait for another 100 years to live in a truly equal society.
What is my advice to women who suffer from finding their identity, feel undermined or just need that extra push?
- Create your own reality, not the reality of someone else
Never let anyone else define who you are or should be. You have your reality so build your life according to your beliefs and aspirations. Be courageous, bold, and you! Never let any boundaries stop you
- Dream big and live those dreams
Dreams tend to become true so start dreaming big, and make dreams your reality. For me, it has happened in many ways. It is frightening at times to notice that the more you let go, the more you get. My favorite motto is: do not dream your life, live your dreams
- Believe in yourself and be who you are
No one else will do it for you. You are the only actor in your life so make it a great show. You are capable of anything you want to be or do, so you do not need to become someone else. Be the best version on yourself, and you'll see that it will draw other good things towards you
- Last but not least, be proud of who you are, your achievements, your goals and all those great opportunities that still lie ahead of you. You make the difference in balancing for better
I joined Ericsson three months ago and I am happy to see how much effort we put into, not only gender balancing, but towards diversity as a whole. Also, for us, it is not an aspiration, but reality. We really believe that diverse, inclusive teams drive performance and innovation, creating greater business value. This strong drive for diversity plays a big part in the success of our great culture in which people are always at the forefront.