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We have no place for discrimination
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I just finished sending out congratulatory messages across the globe to various women I have worked with through the decades.

It is International Women's Day, an event which is celebrated in many nations, but sadly somewhat overlooked in this country.

The day celebrates, not just being a woman, but also all of the achievements women have made to society, business and civilization through time.

My first woman boss was in charge of a branch of the research department where I worked.

I had been promoted and transferred into her group and I was excited to be there.

The research was very interesting and it overshadowed any opinions about who was running the show.

Because I had a very strong mother that was a professional and a very strong aunt that had a business career I was comfortable working for a woman.

I was rather shocked there were men in the research department that did not like having a woman boss.

As we moved this great scientific idea forward our little team functioned quite well.

We all got along and we met our goals.

The project was successful and we each then went our separate ways within the corporation.

My boss was promoted quite a few times before she left the company.

I happened to speak to her at a conference years later and was upset when she made the comment that a woman could only ascend so far in the organization.

It occurred to me, reflecting on those times, that my male bosses after her had in fact been rather difficult to work with.

Our research teams always seemed to have some level of teenage drama associated with them.

We always had some pecking order and a lot of "work" revolved around golf.

There had been none of that stuff under my female boss. We just got on with the task.

Over time I had many more female bosses and team members.

I married a career woman that worked for one of the most powerful law firms in the country at the time, and she later worked with a firm that had a number of successful female partners.

I knew there were always these false ceilings and strange expectations placed on them by their male counterparts.

These things seemed slanted more to helping males advance no matter their actual capabilities.

Discrimination has its foundation set in fear and a lack of education.

If someone cannot out preform someone else they often resort to discriminatory tactics to suppress their opponent or develop quirky rules to prevent others from succeeding.

Women, even today, still face such tactics in education, government, business and parts of society.

It is a shame when you look at the facts.

Numerous studies have suggested that women make excellent managers and leaders.

They tend to focus on solutions and compromise rather than politics and egos.

Female run companies are often ranked as very desirable places to work. There is less back stabbing, one-upmanship and Machiavellian-type strife in female businesses.

Women make up half of this country's workforce. They make up half of the latest medical school graduates and 44 percent of our chemists.

In my old field of scientific research they hold 55 percent of the operational research positions, yet only 23 percent of the computer programming jobs and just 5 percent are in mechanical engineering.

Thankfully women are not satisfied with the old status quo.

Last year more than 18,000 females enrolled in computer coding and many are moving into engineering universities.

This is great because history has shown that women have contributed a great deal in science.

Consider Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Hopper's breakthroughs in computer programming from the 50s that impacts every device you now use, or the fact that actress Hedy Lamar invented the operational theory of today's cell phones and Wi-Fi networks, or that Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar which is today used in bulletproof vests worn by our troops overseas; these are just a few of the thousands of women that have advanced our world.

Today, young women and girls are entering educational institutions across the United States, yearning to learn science, engineering and coding. They want to make our planet and our society better.

It is up to all of us in the older generations - male and female - to give these young people the opportunities they deserve, the tools they need and an environment where discrimination has no place.

Charlie Auvermann is a longtime Dawson County resident and former editor of the Dawson Community News. He is also the executive director of the local development authority.

 

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