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No more tip-toeing around requests and demands. No more ‘softening the blow’ by apologizing. No more fear around asking for a raise.

Today at Sköna, we celebrate International Women’s Day and use it to reflect on how far women have come and how far we still have to go. We asked a few of the women here at Sköna to contemplate what they would change for the future generations given the chance.

Jenny: “Paid Parental Leave is a big one. In the United States, paid parental leave is short, unequal, and, in many work-places and situations, not guaranteed. If my daughters decide to pursue their working lives in the US, I wish them a longer and more equally distributed parental leave. I believe the starting point for creating an equal work-place is going to be based in a reasonable amount of time off with small children. And in order to ensure equality between the sexes, that parental leave needs to be split as evenly as possible between the parents. Not only will this ensure equality between the sexes, I believe it will start to define the boundaries of work-life balance. A life where family is allowed to take up space and time.”

Gwen: “If I have to pick one thing I’d like to wish for more tolerant companies where men and women work together to allow a more flexible working environment. A place where we eliminate guilt. No more guilt because you leave early to go and pick up the kids, because the little one is sick, and you need to work from home, because you’re pregnant and you need to take time out of work to bond with your newborn. I wish for a culture where we trust people—where men trust women—to do their work well but in their own terms. Where nobody should feel guilty of being a wife, a mother, a friend or take time to go to the gym!”

Other areas for improvement: equal pay. Though we are certainly making strides towards closing the wage gap, there still remains a lot of advocating to be done, and the gap is more extreme in some industries than others.

Lastly, we’d like a shift in the overall work culture.

Boramy: “I’d like our society to get to a point where women no longer feel like they need to say sorry all the time. No more tip-toeing around requests and demands. No more ‘softening the blow’ by apologizing. No more fear around asking for a raise. Know you deserve it. No more being reduced to thinking or acting ‘like a man’ when you take charge. Know that asking for what you want is not a bad thing.”

Times are changing. Are you with us?

Happy International Women’s Day!

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