This week’s calligraphy challenge was S.T.E.M. and it’s goal to encourage young women to pursue an education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics. I wanted to do something that combined flow charts and the planets, had pink for little girls and exemplified all the myriad of choices. I used gel pens and colored pencils to create all the intertwined images. If you look closely you can see the outline of the shapes utilized in a flow chart. I had a hard time getting my concept out of my head and onto the paper.
I read an article that talked about women comprising forty-seven percent of the work force, yet less than twenty percent of the leaders running any organizations. Women make seventy-eight cents for every dollar earned by their male coworkers. And the challenges women face once they have children and continue to work outside the home. The majority of women bear the workload in their homes, even those who work full time; this phenomenon is called the second shift. Work a full day at the office and then come home to work another full time job. How single mothers do all of this is beyond my imagination.
The situation for women is better than it was when I started working, yet we are still behind our male counterparts while doing the same work. Somewhere along the journey of growing up we are programming our young women to accept less than they deserve. I do not think we are doing this on purpose, so then why is it happening? Somewhere what we teach, say, encourage women to do is work hard and be grateful for what they are able to achieve. The real message we need to help all women understand is that they are worthy of anything they can imagine. If they are willing to work hard they can achieve their wildest dreams.
Maybe we need to teach our young women to dream, to believe, to understand that they are capable of anything. We need to stop allowing structures and organizations to institutionalize treating women as less than, and we need to keep telling both our women and our organizations that if we let them, women will change the world for the better.