For most of the past century women have been expressing how they wish to live and work. In today's environment women of the 21st century are half of all U.S. workers and are frequently the primary breadwinners or co-bread-winners. It is a dramatic shift from just a generation ago. It changes how women spend their days, how they think of themselves; it has a ripple effect that reverberates throughout the nation and beyond our borders. It fundamentally changes how we live and work, and affects everyone, including families, husbands, companions, employees and colleagues.
American women have been on the forefront of exploring their possibilities. Through education and entrepreneurship, starting their own companies, women are working in a chosen profession, which has given them the power to ask and demand changes. Women have made great strides and are now more likely to be economically responsible for themselves and their families. Indeed women are winning on many fronts, yet there is still a long way to go. It is essential that this new way of thinking will also demand different actions. The questions often asked are connected to how women see themselves, how they are finding success in their decision-making process as strong professionals, as partners and leaders. It also demands flexibility and respect from these partners.
Setting goals, expanding a vision, setting boundaries for oneself and others are critical points to achieve, It is essential that men are part of this thought-process and equation. They are part of the solution. It is meaningless to define women's capacity and ability, without considering the resources, financial and humane, to improve their lives and the lives of others in their immediate environment. To recognize a woman's full potential behooves everyone to know what benefits there are for all to reap and enjoy. It does not matter what age, what nationality or socioeconomic background, it is in this collective definition of women and their working goals, which is generally defined by the male-dominated Zeitgeist.
It is our responsibility to define these possibilities and own them. Knowledge, perseverance, determination and self-confidence are our best asset, built upon education. To gain the ability to have the confidence in competence, judgment, assurance and poise is very much part of success. Self-confidence gives quality to this equation.
We are living through a period of a powerful and unique transformation, for many people it is very disturbing. Women's Rights are Human Rights. No matter where one searches for answers, the American women are on the positive side of this vital equation. We are fortunate to live in an environment of great support through a variety of institutes, seminars are abounded, and networking groups are helping women find their stride.
Women are not stuck in an idealized past; many enjoy the fruit of their labor and follow their dreams with determination. In our free society women are not forced into a loveless marriage as is still the case in many Middle Eastern countries or was the case in past history. We are fortunate to have women in our time we can admire, emulate and learn from. Their accomplishments and vision are an inspiration to all of us.
Above all be authentic! And as Shakespeare so wisely said: be true to yourself!