Celebrating Equality for All People
The right to vote – it’s the cornerstone of democracy. And while we might take it for granted today, that right was denied to half of the U.S. population until the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, ensured voting rights for everyone, regardless of gender.
A quick history lesson: In the early 19th century, American women, who generally couldn’t inherit property and made on average half of a man’s wages when they could find jobs, began organizing to demand political rights and representation. By the early 1900s, several countries including Finland, New Zealand and the U.K. had legalized voting for women as the movement swept around the world. In the U.S. the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was first introduced in1878, but it failed to gain momentum until women’s involvement in World War I made their contributions obvious, ultimately leading to ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
Today, Women’s Equality Day, celebrated in the U.S. since 1971 on August 26 each year, recognizes the achievements of women’s rights activists, and reminds us of the unique daily challenges that women continue to face. The day is about uplifting and empowering women, acknowledging how far women have come and reminding us all about the importance of equality.
At RSM, we believe in equality for everyone. Not only is it simply the right thing to do, but it also creates a sense of belonging. And when people feel that they belong, they’re more comfortable sharing their ideas and insights. The more diverse ideas we bring to the table, the more innovative our ideas and solutions become. We embrace differences, and we do a number of things to demonstrate our commitment to inclusion, including investing in 12 employee network groups (ENGs), one of which is focused on women.
How can you recognize Women’s Equality Day? Here are just a few ideas:
- Support local businesses run by women
- Raise funds for charities and organizations that support women’s empowerment
- Thank the women in your life for their contributions
- Share success stories (using #WomensEqualityDay when sharing stories on social media)
- Register to vote in honor of those who fought for decades to win that right
Regardless of how you acknowledge this important day, on behalf of RSM’s women’s employee network group, STAR (Stewardship. Teamwork. Advancement. Retention.) and the rest of our 13,000+ people across the U.S. and Canada, I invite you to join us in celebrating equality for everyone!