I advocate, teach and champion women to earn their worth, ask for what they want, and get what they deserve. I was challenged this week by a man who respectfully asked why the Millionaire Girls’ Movement is just for women – what about men? It’s a fair question. I gave him all the statistics about equity partnership in law firms and numbers of CEOs, but I also told him that women are still developing their self-advocacy muscles. If you want to see the power of women who organize and agitate, step into any non-profit boardroom or soup kitchen in America and you will be awed by the raging fire of compassion and unrelenting fight for what is just and important for a civilized society. Women are great champions of the underserved and disenfranchised except when the undervalued citizen is the one looking at them in the mirror.
I know women who can organize, rally and fight for someone who is not being treated with dignity, but will wholesale their own power for a bad relationship or horrible work environment. Self-advocacy does not necessarily accompany education or even success; it comes with attaching value to your self and acknowledging your worth. Your worth isn’t about deserving a nice car or a house in a particular zip code; your worth is about deserving and expecting respect, equity, and dignity. How on earth can you expect to be paid as much or in some cases more than someone else if you do not flex your self-advocacy muscle?
True equity requires more than an academic degree or title, it requires firing abusive clients, having critical conversations about pay, benefits and workload, and leaving personal relationships that cost you your self-respect. Before you can save the world you must save yourself. The world needs your best and highest self to make a difference. Advocate for your self and you can take on the world. Take time to care for your body because you will not be issued another one. Do not discount your self-respect or self-worth because you can’t buy it back. Stop making excuses for inequities and poor treatment and ask yourself what YOU are going to do about it. Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you want dignity for others then demand it for yourself financially, emotionally and physically. It may be difficult for you, but you aren’t alone. You are supported by a powerful organization of women with the experience, the talent, intelligence and desire to support your success – all you have to do is ENGAGE!