“Happy” International Women’s Day! My Story — Their Stories

Stories of equality and female empowerment

I’m a woman. 28-years old. I’m studying for my Master’s and I work in men dominating industry: the building industry.

I grew up in a small town in the countryside of Austria. I was one of the smartest children in the class but I was shy and I’m an introvert. I had a nice and safe childhood apart from getting mobbed at school.

I wanted to give you a small introduction to my life so that you know where this story is coming from.

I always thought that women and men are equal. I never saw an inequality except that boys are louder and teachers get angry at them more.

I’ve got what I wanted: went to the high school I wanted, got into the university I wanted,…

Every time I saw some negative thing happening to me I thought it was my mistake, I couldn’t change it so I didn’t try.

I remember getting a grade less in school because I didn’t speak in class as much as the others. Didn’t the teacher always complain that my classmates are too loud?

After I finished my first Bachelor’s I worked as an IT consultant and I know that I got the job because I was a woman. They had the task to increase the rate of women working there.

I was the only woman in my introduction courses there and I was okay with that. I was the only woman in my project and I was fine with that.

I knew I was different but I thought it was because I’m an introvert and don’t like to talk so much. I was naive.

Now I Know and Experienced the Inequality

For a few years now I’m reading a lot of books, and stories here on Medium and LinkedIn, and I thought to myself that I was blind.

  • Male students got better grades on projects
  • Male students got better feedback from professors
  • Male students have it easier and get more support from their families

Even though in my studies of Architecture there are more female students than male ones, we get treated differently.

In my Bachelor’s we were around 60% female, and with every step higher we get less and less. In the end, few female students become actual architects. I experienced that firsthand every time I visit an Architecture fair, forum, or whatever. I feel like I don’t belong there because those are all old white men.

Even though 50% of students are female, they don’t get the highest paying jobs, they will do the care work and they stop improving and climbing the ladder.

Not only at the University

Recently an Austrian businesswoman and influencer I follow on Instagram shocked me with some facts about Wikipedia. Her site got deleted there by some 60-year-old sexist because she is “not relevant enough”. She wrote a bestseller and had her own organic and fair clothes brand. But every white man achieving something insignificant has a page on Wikipedia.

This is one example of how sexism is still ruling the world.

Other Women’s Stories

One story I read this week stuck with me:

It’s about how the mother of this writer accepted the challenges during the 2nd world war to keep the country going and to take care of the children.

I wrote a story about Jacinda Ardern who was the prime minister of New Zealand. This is a role model and success story of how female leaders can change the world for the better.

Jacinda Ardern story

And success stories should be the reason we have International Women’s Day. We should talk and write about those great role models for future generations.

Rihannas story

Look at the Situation In Iran

I have some friends from Iran and they are all shocked at what is happening there.

Girls are getting poisoned just because they are girls. Women get discriminated against and have to wear a hijab in public else they get arrested or even killed. More than the majority of the people there are not even Muslim, but still, they have to wear it.

Why? Because 50 years ago women were normal citizens, had their own life, and were on the rise. The men that have the power now didn’t like that. So they started discriminating against them by making them wear hijabs and more…

Story about the Iranian women

This women’s day is for all women and girls who cannot fight for themselves! We support them!

Let’s highlight amazing women! Support each other!

Support your wife! Help her at home!

Help your wife, your mother, and your sister achieve their dreams!

Share what is happening in Iran! Share the inequalities at workplaces! Speak up in your company if you see unequal treatment!

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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