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We’ve Come A Long Way Baby

June 27, 2012

This past Saturday, Title IX, the legislative reform that prohibited discrimination in athletics based on gender, celebrated its 40th anniversary. GracinBreannaStewartg the front page of the Syracuse Post Standard was a large action photo of Breanna Stewart, the high school basketball superstar from Cicero North Syracuse High School, who shattered high school records and traveled around the world playing in elite basketball tournaments. The photo and article grabbed my attention for a couple reasons.

Fifteen years ago I attended a Women’s Fund of Central New York event that awarded Girls, Inc. for approaching the Post Standard for not having equal photos of girls playing sports in the paper. Four young women from Girls, Inc. created a collage of photos of male and female athletes taken from the paper the past year. The male photos put side-by-side wrapped the perimeter of the large room we were in four times; the female photos only covered one wall. The apparent discrepancy produced a startling visual impact and a social one too. The Post Standard promised to be fairer in the future by equaling showcasing male and female athletes.

Seeing Breanna Stewart’s photo covering a majority of the front page reminded me how important it is for women (and girls) to continue to pay attention to equality issues today; and to have a voice about it. A few weeks ago my weekly e-newsletter “Wednesday Wisdom” editorial was about the inequality in pay still facing women today. Only through vigilance can we keep others aware and alert of vital equality issues.

As a daughter of coaches and the mother of sons, I am proud I can pick up a lacrosse stick and play competitively with my sons or enter a 5K race running besides men. My sons might beat me in the game and a more athletic male might beat me in the race but at least I’m in the game. Many more women are in the game of sports today because of Title IX.

Today’s post is to remind you as the Fourth of July approaches and our freedom is celebrated to remember women must continue to fight for our freedom in the courtroom and on the court. We sure have “Come a long way baby” but there is more road to run! The women of today must carry the torch for the generation of women to follow.

I look forward to the day when I can look back on my career and say “Hey women entrepreneurs – we’ve come a long way baby” because we are earning the same as men in our corporate paychecks and entreprneurial endeavors. The day is approaching faster than we think if we remember to buy from other women and create a stronger financial buying circle locally, regionally, state-wide and across the globe.

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