Making progress, slowly but surely.
My morning commute usually includes a trip to the Daley Center. Today I took note of an interesting scene as I walked through the bustling main lobby: a human bar graph, separated by the gender-divided security lines. The line of men stretched and stretched, while the shorter line of women seemed representative of the current and continuing minority of females in the legal profession.
I was struck by the irony, so conspicuously appearing before my eyes on, of all days, National Women’s Equality Day. I chuckled thinking, “At least I’ll get through the line faster.”
The lines may be just a small sample size of gender ratios, but it’s easy to think of it in another way, as if it were a larger representation of the gender inequality that still exists today. But I also like to think of it as progress—progress that began 95 years ago today when women won the right to vote. The lines were different back then, and women were scarcely, if not nowhere, found in the legal profession.
Looking more broadly, today’s narrative is a celebration of the ongoing abilities and achievements of women nationwide. Gone are the days of the “good ol’ boys” and the systematic legacy of an entire legal system dominated by males. As we’ve seen, women have become leaders in every respect of all professions, exceeding duties and expectations in an unrelenting desire to achieve even in the face of doubt and opposition. It’s a true testament of determination. But there’s still work to do.
As a recent college graduate, being part of the minority is strangely encouraging, inspiring and motivating as I move forward in my professional career. This is an era of opportunity to determine the reality of the next era. I’m excited to be part of it. Here’s to another 95 (and many more) years of progress and improvement.