International Women’s Day is an important day for us at Dragon Sisters as our core team is women. The day marks a time for reflecting on ourselves and our goals as well as for reflecting on the many great women in this world and how they reached their goals.
Achieving Your Goals
Goals are easy to create, but not always so easy to reach. Sometimes, it can seem nigh impossible to achieve a goal.
I often find myself staring into the abyss, contemplating how far away my goals are. But when I start to take action, even just baby steps towards my goals, everything becomes so much clearer.
So as we are marking a day to celebrate women’s achievements, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about sticking to your goals and reflecting on how some great women of history have reached theirs and the challenges that they overcame.
Looking Back Through History
In our modern day and age more and more women are making strides into greatness, but there is still a great deal to achieve. It’s also important to remember the women who have long passed into the history books who paved the way for our generation.
A couple years ago, my mother, the brilliant Michelle Hanton, and I went to see the movie “Suffragette”. It was inspirational to watch. I loved how at the end the credits rolled a list of when women had obtained the right to vote in various countries. The whole movie was not only empowering, it was emotional and a reminder of the many struggles women faced to get to where we are today.
As an Australian I’ve always been proud of the fact that in 1902 we became the first country in the world to allow women both the right to vote in federal elections and the right to be elected to parliament on a national basis (though New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote back in 1893!).
Also, as someone with English heritage; my grandmother was born and raised in Yorkshire, I’m also extremely proud of the women in England who worked tirelessly for the right to vote. Which brings me to looking at one of the most famous women in the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst; the founder of the Women’s Franchise League and also one of the founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
Emmeline fought for her goals, through protest and strikes, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, the full extent of her goals was not achieved until after her death in June 1928.
The pages of history hold countless tales of strong willed women. Women who followed their dreams. Women who fought for their goals.
However, in 2017 there are still gender equality issues, especially in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), which is why for this post on the eve of International Women’s Day I’d like to reflect on one of the greatest scientist in history, Marie Curie.
Women have never had it easy when it comes to being accepted in scientific fields of study. However, that didn’t stop Marie Curie in her pursuit of knowledge. Receiving a general education and some scientific training from her father, she went on to become involved in a students’ revolutionary organisation, and in 1891 entered the Sorbonne in Paris where she received her licentiateships (a licence to practise an art or profession) in physics and mathematical studies.
Marie went on to the School of Physics where she met and married Professor Pierre Curie. When Pierre passed away in 1906 she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, becoming the first woman to hold this position.
Most notably, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to have been honoured twice with the Nobel Prize (the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry).
Including Marie Curie, 48 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 17 of those in STEMM fields (awarded for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine).
As we can see from the history books, women have made leaps and bounds towards equality, and yet we still have more to accomplish.
Inspirational Women of the Present
Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by inspirational women. From school teachers who helped me pursue my passion and cultivate my writing skills to family and friends who are constantly amazing me with their accomplishments.
Back when I was just a little girl I remember really looking up to Cathy Freeman. I wasn’t an athletic kid, but I just found her to be so amazing.
Now, as a young adult I still find her an amazing source of inspiration, an Australian Aboriginal who went on to be one of our country’s greatest sporting legends. Cathy was the first Australian Aboriginal woman to win gold at an international athletics event (1990), the first Australian Aboriginal to compete at the Olympics (1992), first person to win both Young Australian of the Year (1991) and Australian of the Year (1998). And all the way back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games was the first competing athlete in history to light the Olympic flame. Pretty remarkable!
The way she pushed past everything to win the gold medal for the 400m at the 2000 Olympic Games was breathtaking. In an interview about the win, she recounted how she told herself “just do what I know”; these simple, yet powerful words propelled Cathy towards her goal of becoming an Olympic gold medallist.
Aside from Cathy Freeman, Australia has produced a range of inspirational women from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Among the great Australian women I’d like to shout out Darwin’s current Lord Mayor, Katrina Fong Lim. Katrina’s an outstanding lady and a great Lord Mayor.
Having grown up in Darwin it’s important to me that our City Council has such a strong, female, leader – she’s a fantastic role model for the young girls in Australia’s Northern Territory and is dedicated to her community.
I could go on and on about all the amazing women in the world who have set the path for gender equality, and who are serving as modern day role models. However, I won’t. Instead I’m commending all of the women out there who are working hard every day.
Whether you are a home maker or a business women, each of you is an inspiration in your own special way.
At Dragon Sisters we are very blessed to be working with a variety of inspirational Australian clients, as well as fantastic women (and some men too) from other parts of the world (we love our international clients).
Remember, all goals are achievable. You just need the determination to reach them and to take action.
Happy International Women’s Day!
PS – if you need support with creating and maximising opportunities to reach your goals, Dragon Sisters can often help.