Today is International Women’s Day. It might surprise you to know that women weren’t even allowed to vote in the United States until the 19th amendment to the constitution passed in 1920. Forty-four years later, the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination based on sex, race, religion and national origin. Over the next twenty-five years women participating in the labor force grew exponentially.
And that was the best thing that could have ever happened for my career. That’s right… for me. You see, my favorite bosses have all been women. They taught me, supported me, pushed me and gave me a chance when no one else would. They defended me, promoted me, corrected me, nurtured me and allowed me to move on when the time was right.
There are differences between men and women. And that’s a good thing. Frankly, I’d prefer to work for a woman. Here are just a few that had a tremendous impact on my life:
Diana Bartlett gave me my first job out of college. Sandy Chapman picked me up when I was way, way down. Laurette Jackson changed my life when she “made” me to go back to school for my MBA. Leslie Malmquist hired me for my first customer-marketing gig (and one of my favorite jobs). Charmaine Jackson stuck her neck out for me in order to land my first portfolio management job… managing bar mixers! And then there was Victoria’s Secret. I wasn’t hired by a woman, but worked with (and for) a team full of them. You couldn’t find a more dedicated, hardworking, intelligent, competent group of people. That stop in my career wouldn’t have been as successful without the women around me who pushed me to be a better businessman.
There were many more important women in my life, of course, but these were the bosses that had a positive impact on my career. So, for the ladies that have been so supportive and influential in my life and my career, I say thank you. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! I hope you’ll reach out to someone who has made a positive impact on your life today.