In a year that has brought insurmountable change to nearly every aspect of life – a year riddled with brand new challenges and shedding light on injustices that have yet to be conquered – one thing has remained concrete: to be a woman is to be unapologetically resilient.
Now more than ever, young girls have an array of women in positions of power to look up to. Whether that power be held in politics, sports, social justice, or simply at home, women stepped up and conquered adversity head on during one of those most difficult years our country has ever experienced.
Prior to daycare and office doors closing due to the pandemic, “stay at home mom” was not considered a very difficult occupation to most. But when families had to simultaneously play babysitter and remain diligent employees, many people saw the reality of what a mom, or parental figure, goes through every day. It was hard enough keeping the kids busy during a zoom call, making lunch between meetings or just getting through the day, but through it all women found time for both themselves and their loved ones.
In this Forbes interview, Chief CEO Carolyn Childers discusses how women are facing extremely specific (and exhausting) new challenges since quarantine began, but they are also the demographic that is making the most out of their circumstance. She says, “There is a single trait underscoring women’s unique qualification to lead: empathy. Defined as the ability to understand or share another person’s feelings, empathy is exactly why representation in leadership matters – especially in times of crisis.”
That empathy shined through when protests for social justice erupted over the summer. Women not only stepped up for their own families in a time of crisis; they took the lead in attempting to make this world a better place for all. The Black Lives Matter movement was founded by three women, the #MeToo movement was started and championed by an array of women from all walks of life, and the Climate Justice movement heralded an 18 year-old Greta Thunberg, speaking with poise and strength in the face of men telling her to keep quiet.
In late 2020, when it seemed as though politics would remain overtly patriarchal, Kamala Harris was inaugurated as the first Madam Vice President. She was named Time’s 2020 Person of the Year with Joe Biden and told little girls all over the globe that “you are powerful and your voice matters.”
In a year that seemed overwhelmingly hopeless, some of the greatest moments came from ambitious women working hard for a better future by remaining resilient. With such strong examples in the mainstream, the days where marketing to women meant pigeonholing them to domesticity or inducing anxiety about their physicality have passed. To be an inclusive marketer is to celebrate and reflect the communities you’re speaking to. Women are complex and compelling. When marketing to women, we must be telling the compelling stories like the ones above. Pink is a color, not a marketing strategy, and its time that space is given to all types of women to showcase and celebrate the resiliency within them all.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, some of PACO Collective’s own resilient women joined the IWD Association in choosing to challenge gender bias and continue to fight for a gender-equal world.
Our Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, Katie Eng, is challenging the expectation of what little girls can and cannot do because she wants her daughter to grow up with the freedom of knowing she can do anything she sets her mind to.
Our Managing Director, Veronica Villalon, chose to challenge anyone raising boys – that they may teach them to fully understand the important roles they’ll have in helping to bridge the gaps in inequality and to ending gender-specific stereotypes.
And I chose to challenge exclusionary feminism. Because there is no right way to be a woman – and we will not genuinely be equal until everyone can be comfortable and supported in who they truly are.
The triumphs of 2020 have evidenced that the strength to never step down from a challenge is inherent; to be a woman is to continuously go above and beyond to prove your intelligence, your creativity, your capability – your worth. If women did anything in the last year, they proved just that.