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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tian

Happy International Women's Day! Here Are 4 Ways You Can #EmbraceEquity!

"Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women." - Maya Angelou

This year's International Women's Day campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity (read this for difference between equity and equality). It emphases that we can all do our part to challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion.

Inspired by this year's theme, I wanted to reflect on some of my own experiences as a woman and share some of the ways we can all contribute to creating a more equitable world.

I'm very grateful to have supportive parents who have never treated me any less because of my gender. They never held me back in my career aspirations and have always been supportive of what I wanted to study and pursue for my career, no matter if it was going 5000 miles to study Psychology in the U.S. or pursuing a PhD.

Growing up, my mother emphasized over and over again the importance of being independent as a woman. She stressed the importance of working, being financially independent and strongly advises against being "a stay-at-home mom" like she did.

I'm also incredibly lucky to have found a partner who is a strong ally of women. He is not only fully supportive of my career but also believes I have the right to pursue whatever I want in my life.

However, there are still (of course!), others in my life (just like many people) who have gender biases. For example, upon hearing that got into a PhD program, a relative of mine showed lack of understanding why I was trying to be a PhD as a woman. I also had another acquaintance who asked "Why are you getting a PhD? Why don't you just enjoy life?". In fact, in China, there is a common saying that there are three genders: male, female, and female PhD...

Indeed, according to the 2022 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, it will take another 132 years to reach full gender parity given our current progress.

Yes, there is still a lot of work to do.

But yes, we can all do something to accelerate this!

Here are some ideas: