For those who don’t know, March is recognized as Women’s History Month. This is a time to celebrate the contributions women have made to our nation for the betterment of their gender specifically and to our culture overall. Yesterday was International Women’s Day and many women were encouraged to take the day off from work to illustrate how much tougher things would be without their efforts.
As many of our CV Weekly readers know, the majority of the people who work here are women: our head writer (Mary O’Keefe), office manager (Emily Cronkhite), sales staff (Lisa Stanners, Sonya Marquez and Audri Ferguson), proofreader Anne McNeill, in addition to many of our writers, not to mention me, the publisher. I pondered what would happen if all of these dynamic women decided to abandon their work for the day. Honestly, I think there would probably be no newspaper in your driveway or favorite neighborhood spot today. That’s how important these women are to this business.
Mary O’Keefe and I have often talked about the important roles women have played in America’s history and how wonderful (and necessary) it is to see career doors continue to open for women. One of her daughters, for example, has a degree in physics and is employed at JPL as a power systems engineer. The other is a welder on the Crescenta Valley High School robotics team. To some people, just the fact that I started a newspaper is a testament to advances made by women.
I was very fortunate in that growing up I never felt slighted because of my gender. In whatever I chose to pursue I thought those opportunities would be afforded me. Perhaps because I didn’t want to be a (insert male dominated role here – astronaut, firefighter, police officer), I didn’t realize how many doors were, in fact, closed to me. It wasn’t until I was working at Art Center College of Design that I even learned about Title IX: “Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: ‘No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.’”
Perhaps it was naïve of me to think that people would want the best people – regardless of gender – to do a job. It seems ridiculous to exclude an entire faction of our population because it wears a bra. Of course, I also think it’s ridiculous to exclude an entire faction of our population because of faith or skin color.
The theme for this year’s National Women’s History Month is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” It celebrates women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force. Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and unpaid. I’m excited that in this week’s CV Weekly you will find that we have spotlighted some of these dynamic women in our community.
I am grateful and proud to stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me to blaze this trail and hope that, in some way, we here also set an example of what can be.