Hey, happy International Women's Day everyone!
To be honest, most years I've let the date go by completely unnoticed. I'm not a feminist. I believe in equality and do my best to work towards inclusiveness and improving as a professional and a person.
Where feminism is reminiscent of "anti-men", equality is a more positive aim. It's an ideal we can all get behind. More importantly, it embraces all groups, not just women, and has built-in intersectionality.
But this year feels different.
I thought the slight switch had nothing to do with the #metoo campaign. Afterall, those are extreme cases, are they not?
But I was wrong.
The media coverage has triggered conversations with friends, family and colleagues, both women and men. It has made me realise we should not have to bottle up those mundane, daily drip-drip exchanges we learn to live with.
It is not OK to be taken for granted.
We should not have to constantly prove ourselves and work harder than the person next door just to be taken seriously.
So, no more blending in the background for me.
I'm a woman in IT, middle-aged and foreign. I'm from an under-represented group and it's my duty to make myself visible.
I owe it to my daughter, to every young girl who loves science and tech, to every introverted, quiet woman who, like me, has been in IT all their working lives.
I also owe it to my son. He knows girls are his equal. He deserves better than the world out there telling him otherwise.