It’s that time of year again. The unofficial end of summer. Yellow school bus sightings, a nip in the air at night and that one leaf you find in your tree with a hint of color. Oh, and the official kick-off of football season. At our house it is also a time of celebration to toast to another year of marriage on September 5th and my daughter’s birthday on September 6th. A nice time of year, heading into my favorite season.
But let’s not dismiss the history of Labor Day and why many of us in America get a day off from work. The first Labor Day celebration was held in 1882, organized to celebrate the many labor unions and their contributions to the US economy. It was named a federal holiday in 1884 and falls on the first Monday of every September. Except for those in service related positions, most American workers can count on this day off as a thank you for their various work contributions.
Since my project is related to women I thought it would be interesting to highlight women in the workforce. Today, women make up about 50% of the workforce, a big difference from the number of women in 1882! Women have broken barriers and glass ceilings placing them in almost every job category once reserved for men. Women owned businesses have increased at a rate of 2 1/2 times the national average. These remarkable accomplishments deserve to be celebrated and younger women may want to thank those women who have paved the way for them in the workplace today. Happy Labor Day!
Some of the women breaking barriers that stand out for me are;
Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice, appointed in 1981
Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox and the first African-American woman named CEO of a Fortune 500 company, in 2014
Muriel Seibert, the first woman to hold an seat on the New York Stock Exchange, in 1967
Ann Dunwoody, the first female in the US Military to achieve a four-star officer ranking, in 2008
I recently saw a picture of my high school Board Members taken in the mid-1960’s. All men. I don’t think I would have been surprised then but it made me pause today. Was there not one woman in Rutland, VT interested in sitting on the School Board, or was it not allowed? Makes me wonder. Curious, I looked up the list of board members today. Nine men and four women. Not an even split but at least there is female representation.
Whether you are male or female I hope that when you read this posting you are enjoying a day off from work and that you feel recognized and appreciated for the jobs you perform each day. If you are in a job that doesn’t allow for a day off on the first Monday of September, I hope your boss provides an alternative to recognize your hard work.