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15 Woke Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month

Culture

March is Women's History Month, a time to reflect on the achievements of women and to seek new ways to empower them.


In the past year and a half, the Women's March and the #MeToo movement have begun to reshape national conversations about gender equality. But sometimes in our haste to advocate for women's rights, we forget that womanhood can come in many forms.

This month grants the perfect opportunity for anyone to start to acknowledge the diversity of women and champion for the equality of all: including women of color, trans women and women from around the world. Here are 15 woke ways to support, educate and celebrate all women for Women's History Month.

1. Make your smartphone even smarter by downloading this female-forward app.

Change starts with small steps, so why not begin with your phone? Download Women & Girls, an app that uses data from 201 countries to track gender equality around the world. Or keep tabs on sexual harassment by using Hollaback! an app that allows you to record and share stories about sexual harassment in your neighborhood.

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2. Become pen pals with a woman from across the globe.

Learn about women's experiences in other countries by finding an international pen pal. You can use the Women & Girls app to select a country that lacks women's equality. Then, use Postcrossing, a free website that connects you with people from 213 countries, to find your female pen pal.

3. Divest from companies that don't support equal rights and support ones that do.

Sadly, some of the brands we love support discrimination and inequality. Thankfully, there are tons of great women-owned brands you can put your dollar to that are supportive and inclusive. Check out Adorned by Chi, a clothing and accessory line full of cheeky tees and accessories that promote black girl magic and kawaii looks. Or SheNative, a handbag line started by Devon Fiddler, a First Nations woman looking to destigmatize the perception of indigenous women.

4. Dive into feminist theory.

Women make up 49.5 percent of the global population, and that's just those who are biologically born female. Expand your mind and learn about the many definitions of womanhood. Discover Kimberle Crenshaw, a civil rights activist and pioneer of intersectional feminism. Or read a book by Bell Hooks, a gender studies scholar who deconstructs what it truly means to be a woman of color under the white, male patriarchy.

5. Host a Women's History Month party.

What better way to celebrate Women's History Month than to recognize the women in your life? Ask guests to bring menstrual products, diapers, and makeup as a point of entry. At the end of the party, you can collect the products and donate to your local women's shelter. Here are some ideas on what you can ask your guests to bring.

During the party, your guests and you can color these awesome print-outs of badass women. Or opt for a movie marathon featuring powerful female characters. Uninspired? Check out this extensive list of movies with powerful female leads.

6. Treat yourself with this holistic, Latina-owned beauty line.

Brujita Skincare is a line based in Los Angeles that uses fairly-sourced, mineral-rich clays and powders from Mexico. The founder, Leah Guerrero, travels regularly in Mexico to find holistic ingredients sourced from local market vendors. The line specializes in masks, oils and creams.

7. Sign up for that boxing class you've been putting off.

U.N. Women estimates that 35 percent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Sign up for a boxing class at your local gym or better yet, a crash course women's self-defense.

8. Donate a picture book about a strong woman or girl.

Give the gift of women's empowerment to a girl in need. Check out this list of 45 must-have books for girls. If you don't have a Little Free Library where you live, try Project Night Night, a program that assembles “night packages" to homeless children 12 and under, or United Through Reading, a program that helps children of active military personnel bond with their deployed parents through reading.

9. Flood your feed with feminist Instagrams.

Who doesn't love a good RBG meme? For starters, check out @femalecollective, an Instagram run by Candace Reels, an intersectional feminist from Los Angeles who went from running the account to a full-fledged blog and online clothing store. Or @ladiesgetpaid, a women's network focused on sharing resources and job opportunities across the web.

10. Indulge in a TED Talk on feminism.

Choose from 10 talks that discuss different aspects of women empowerment. Examples include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech that inspired her book, “We Should All Be Feminists," and Malala Yousafzai's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai's speech on his daughter. These talks will open your mind and inspire the ways in which you think about female empowerment.

11. Call your local representatives to support and further promote equality for all.

Keep up with issues that affect your community. Whether it's speaking out about women's reproductive rights, or protections for trans women, call up your local representative and make your voice heard. Check out USA.gov to get in touch with your local, state and federal officials.

12. Register to vote.

It's important to remember the power we have when we cast a ballot. To learn more about how to register, click here.

13. Learn about the women you weren't taught about in history class.

For many, just like Black History Month, the scope of Women's History Month is narrow or non-existent in school. Use this time to learn about the hundreds of women around the world who have paved the way for future generations. Whether its women from the past like Queen Hatshepsut, the first queen of Egypt, or Miss Major, a pioneer trans civil rights activist who was active in the Stonewall Riots, try to learn about a woman each day for the month of March.

14. Find out about your own women's history.

It's important to remember the women in our own personal histories, too. Looking at old photo albums with family members can bring to light the past women in your family's narrative. But if you want to dive deeper, go online. Check out FamilySearch.org, a free ancestry site that has millions of records from around the world. The site also has tutorials and tips on how to look through archives.

15. Continue to celebrate women beyond history month.

Empowering women and fighting for gender equality should go beyond 31 days. Continue to advocate for the rights of all women by practicing these methods above, or better yet come up with some methods of your own.

3 min read
Career

How You Dress is Your Calling Card: Outfits To Fit Every Industry

If you needed to hire a professional to let's say cater a dinner, head your marketing department, or perhaps act as an expert for you on a legal matter. How would you expect them to dress?

I will take a guess here and say you imagine each person with a different look, vibe, and as presenting themselves in unique ways. If their style fell short of what's perceived to be acceptable within their industry, you may even underestimate their skill set. You may question their ability to be trustworthy, confident, or knowledgeable.

You've probably already heard the phrases, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" or Look good, feel good." But there's a lot more to appropriate styling for the workplace than just those two outlooks alone.

We, as professionals, must ask ourselves "What should I wear?" Some may reach for a suit and tie or heels and a dress, while others simply throw on jeans and a sweater. But while the latter might be an appropriate style for certain industries, it might not be for others. It is important to understand that different markets often have a distinctive (and often unspoken) unofficial dress code.

You've probably already heard the phrases, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" or Look good, feel good." But there's a lot more to appropriate styling for the workplace than just those two outlooks alone. Popular job-posting source Indeed outlines that, "There are varying levels of business attire ranging from "casual" to "business formal." Based on the setting, you can decide which kind of business attire is appropriate."

However, depending on your industry, we may need to get a little more specific Let's break it down so you decide what's befitting.It is important to understand that different markets often have a distinctive (and often unspoken) unofficial dress code.

Marketing & Advertising

The era of Mad Men has passed... Long gone are the days of blue suits, skinny ties, and midday-martinis. This industry has taken a more casual but still presentable approach to dress... Think more like khakis paired with a smart blazer or sweater for or, perhaps, a dark skinny jean with wedge shoes and a silk blouse pulled together with a sweater-knit jacket.

Finance & Law

Think traditional, classic dress. Your clothes should be tailored and well-fitting. These companies usually have strict dress codes, so keep your attire to colors like black, navy, and grey. Shoes should be closed-toe (for women) and a cap-toe or lace-up loafer for the men.

Public Speaking

Here you are open to a fuller range of clothing styles. However, (and this is a big one), make sure you dress for your audience and your brand. Remember, you could be presenting in front of potential clients, and if your outfit is not cohesive to your company's ideals and identity you may leave your viewers confused.

Academia

Casual smart — very comfortable, if you're working in a lab. Think professor-type, right? Bow ties and blazers for men and dress slacks, sweaters, with low-heeled shoes for women. Limit the jewelry and long nails.

Accounting

There are casual days in this industry, usually one or two days a week. Men can wear polo shirts, collared shirts, or sweaters with khakis or dress pants, and dress shoes — a tie is not necessary. For women, conservative dresses, skirts, collared shirts, sweaters, dress pants, and dress shoes or boots are acceptable. But if you work for a more conservative company like Deloitte, you may want to refer to your employee handbook, as you may be expected to dress more professionally.

Software & Technology

Dress like you don't care but don't look sloppy. The tech industry has gotten it's distinct dressing style straight out of Silicon Valley from the likes of Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Bezos. T-shirts, vests, jeans, and sneakers are the norm. You can find many brands to outfit your day, so it's important to select pieces of clothing that are stylish, modern with a flair… items that say "I care about how I look," though you may not care about fashion.

Style is confidence, expressed through clothing.

With all of this being said, keep in mind that you need to be cognizant of the environment. If you're unsure how to dress ask your human resources department for what is generally considered appropriate.

One last point: dress authentically. You should wear clothes that make you feel confident, clothes that represent who you are intrinsically and professionally. Power up your sleeves, take control of your future, and move forward.

Style is confidence, expressed through clothing.