International Women’s Day began in the early 1910s to honor and reflect on the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Since the initial celebration, International Women’s Day has grown into a global event and, here at Sendero, now serves as a catalyst for important conversations about what it means to be a woman in the workplace.
We sat down with Managing Director Susanne Turnbo, Senior Manager Liya Getachew, Manager Alex Hill, and Analyst Erynn Conde to hear their perspectives.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
LIYA: International Women’s Day gives us an occasion to reflect on women’s movements across the world, honor the advancements that have been made, and look forward to the additional work that needs to be done.
ERYNN: It honors the women who fought and protested decades ago for my place in the classroom, in the workplace, and in society at large. It recognizes the women who are continuing that work today, and it empowers future generations of women to reap the benefits of and continue those efforts. I’m reminded of a quote from Maya Angelou which more eloquently illustrates that point saying, “I come as one, but I stand as 10,000.” Women share an experience that binds and uplifts us, and International Women’s Day reminds me of that!
What are some of the current challenges facing women in leadership and the workplace?
SUSANNE: The mental burden. Women often take a primary role in managing the home and family. I think this happens for two reasons: first, often we want this and are good at it and second, societal norms push our families in this direction. Regardless of what puts us there, I have a hard time articulating the true weight of the mental burden that comes with this role. But it’s real, and it’s exhausting. It’s also an honor and a privilege.
LIYA: The challenges women experience aren’t always apparent or given recognition. For example, many women in the workplace have observed — and studies have shown — that women often do not get the same level of recognition as men for similar work. In the moment, this can be difficult to identify and call out, but aggregated over time, it leads to disproportionate rates of advancement, which results in an additional challenge: a lack of representation in leadership.