Rest in Peace to the Trailblazer RBG
I would suggest most people know who the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg is. With her passing I have been re-inspired by her life and legacy. She has a tremendous amount of experience and lasting messages we can all learn from and implement in our lives and especially NWIR.
Let’s look at a few:
RGB: One of nine women in a group of 500 when she started law school. She graduated first in her class. “Women belong in ALL places decisions are made.”
TODAY: The majority percentages of law school students are women. The resounding message of credit goes to this ONE women’s influence. The generations and future laws that will come from this force of female balance in our justice system will continue to affect all our lives – in phenomenally astounding ways yet to be seen.
She was born into a world where she wasn’t seen; she was denied for jobs and discredited. Yet she was still able to thrive when there was “no place for her” everywhere she turned. Where is the place that you think you don’t belong? I think all of us have been told in our lives we are not good enough or we don’t belong here or there. Do we have the optimism and hope to put ourselves where WE see ourselves and not let other ideals hold us back? I know women in all trades have struggled with where WE belong, fought through boundaries that said “you can’t do that”, been the only women on the job site and in the boardroom and we continue to change with pushing the ideal of who belongs where in the world. Again: “Women belong in all places decisions are being made.” And not just one woman either. When asked how many women are enough to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, her answer was a resounding “Nine. No one has ever questioned nine men on the Court”. This puts into a little perspective for us to ponder when we see the one woman in a sea of men – there is still space everywhere we look.
A few other quotes NWIR can learn from:
- “One does not live for oneself but for one’s community.”
- "Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation."
- "We are at last beginning to relegate to the history books the idea of the token woman."
- "Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
- "It helps sometimes to be a little selectively deaf (in marriage and in every workplace), including the good job I have now."
- “Gender discrimination greatly hurts men too.”
- “Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.
- MY personal favorite (I have seen many women including me do this more than once, but not enough): “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”
A few things we can be thankful to Ruth Bader Ginsburg for:
· The right to sign a mortgage without a man
· A bank account without a male co-signer
· The right to be pregnant and still work
· Equal benefits for fathers
· Girls playing competitive sports
· Equal preference in estate disputes
· Equal military spousal support
· Widowers getting social security
· Equal alcohol drinking ages for women and men
· Equal admissions to college
· ACLU Women’s Rights project
· Equal Credit Opportunity Act - That’s why women have credit cards ladies…
Too many more to list!
While reading this; take pause and realize this is our history dating back less than 50 years. These are recent changes.
How Ruth Bader Ginsburg did this: Education for herself and lobbying for the right for all to be educated. Mentorship of others, a Networking leadership style that built coalition, Recruiting others to her trade. All with a true focus on Community Service. (Sound familiar?)
She saw the humility in others with a leadership style that was brave, tough, inclusive and deeply educated. Every one of us has the potential to leave this kind of inspiration and mark on the world. Every case she fought, became easier for the next one to argue and win.
It really makes me think about our National Women in Roofing association and all women in trades. We have this opportunity to lead stronger with these same principles.
NWIR welcomes humans in large forces who are working towards a world where: It doesn’t matter what sex you are, who and if you worship, the color of your skin, and who the heck you love… All these “identities” will not impact how the job will be completed.
May her memory be a REVOLUTION
Take the baton,
Renae & Jennifer
Renae Bales, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing and Jennifer Stone, Johns Manville; NWiR Co-Chairs