Be an Everyday MAKER for International Women's Day
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and call for greater equality. It’s what we do at MAKERS on a daily basis, and we think this day is a chance to consider how you can champion this cause. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time or money - just the will to make a difference. Below, find seven ways to be an everyday MAKER, on Sunday, March 8 and beyond:
1. Fail, and try again. Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code, an organization that aims to provide computer science education and exposure to 1 million young women by 2020. Before that, she lost her campaign for Congress. “I never get things on the first time, or the second time,” she says. More like the third or the fourth time.”
SPANX founder Sara Blakely was told ‘no’ countless times before someone agreed to make her invention. These women remembered to be persistent, and they’ve made a difference in people’s lives.
2. Talk back. When Emily May went to college, she was harassed on the street. “It was the first time I was made to feel less than,” she told MAKERS. So she and some friends decided to call attention to a problem that wasn’t being talked about. They founded Hollaback!, a platform for people to share their experiences of street harassment. ”We need to build a world in which everyone can feel safe in who they are as they walk down the street.”
Do you have an idea that gives voice to something you—and probably many others—have been feeling?
3. Help a woman get elected—or run yourself. Emily’s List helps fund female candidates who run on a pro-choice, pro-women platform. You can pledge financial support by giving as little as $5 a month, attend an event, or learn how to run for office by getting information on Emilyslist.org. That’s what Barbara Mikulski did!
4. Thank a woman who’s paved the way for you. Kathy Griffin says, “It’s a genuine passion of mine to talk about the women who have paved the way for me.” She studied the women whose work she admired, and she’s since met some of her idols—“all the women who were out there doing it by themselves.”
5. Consider diversity in everything you do. Writers like Shonda Rhimes have helped make it so TV shows do better when they have more diverse casts (a study proved it). And as Geena Davis says, “Make whatever you were going to make, just put more female characters in it.” Be it a book, movie, or game show - strive for equal representation of varied people.
6. Invite women to support one another. We all know Madeleine Albright’s quote: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Take a page from Alfre Woodard’s book and dispel the rumors about competition or snarky behavior by having a dinner party and inviting all the women you admire.
7. Be of service. Oprah probably (okay definitely) said it best: “Determine for yourself how you are going to serve and then lean into that. Lean into that with your whole heart. To serve, to serve something greater than yourself. [Ask], how can I be of significance through the service that I have to offer?”