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Today we stand with the women of South Africa, and all women everywhere to commemorate their intrinsic value and contributions to society.  It’s hard to believe that only 65 years ago in South Africa over 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws that required South Africans defined as “black” under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a pass, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanization, and manage migrant labor during the apartheid era. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1995. In 2006, a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans.

Given my experience working with South African women, it was important to me to recognize this day to express my appreciation for the power, strength, and tremendous capability they bring to the GSG Team, but I wanted to make sure that female voices and perspectives were heard above all. So, I asked the women of GSG to inspire me with their words.

But rather than use their words to inspire my own, I was moved to share their words unaltered, for who can say better what it means to be a woman than a woman?  Here’s what they had to say when I asked our global team for their thoughts, favorite quotes, and inspiration:

Astrid Gravenor, Talent Acquisition – Senior Recruiter (GSG South Africa)

An image came to mind when I read your email.

It resonates the most with me, because it highlights the contributions to society that women also make by providing care and support in everyday life. These contributions grant opportunities to others to pursue interests unencumbered by responsibility pertaining to the running of a well-oiled household. Although the hurdles depicted in the image are metaphors for bigger hurdles which women have overcome, to me they also speak to the integral role which women can and do play in raising children and providing foundations which enable the children of tomorrow to succeed and enter society and in turn contribute to the overall well-being of international society. Whether those children go on to being leaders, innovators, key players in the workforce or choosing to shape the future by being the neck upon which the head rests, it is still a vital contribution which shapes everything.

Mellisa Jakachira, Human Resources & Onboarding – Senior Analyst (GSG South Africa)

Women’s day for me marks a day of reflection of how far we have come as women, and how much further we can go.  When women speak up, they pave the way for the freedom of future generations. I’m reminded to be brave and that if they can do it, I can do it too!

Kheerthana Anbalagan, Talent Acquisition – Research Analyst (GSG India)

Women are Strong, confident, and Courageous, Women Provide the foundation of Power, Grace, Wisdom, Justice, Creativity and Hope 😊

Women are known to have better intuition, patience, emotional focus, compassion, and networking ability. Women are a pure blessing of God , Every Woman is unique in her own special and beautiful way, we are a strong full circle, we have an inbuilt art to earn, suffer and survive on whatever life throws at us.

Happy Women’s Day to all !!

Fannie Yao, Finance & Accounting – Payroll Manager (GSG Americas)

Can’t remember where I saw this quote, but it inspired me.  Be kind, be supportive, a gentle and quiet approach maybe all it is needed.

“Be the women who fixes another women’s crown, without telling the world that it was crooked.”

Lavanya Krishnappa, Talent Acquisition – Research Analyst (GSG Americas)

Every Woman is unique ,believe you can and you’re halfway there.

My Inspirational quote:

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before”.-Albert Einstein

Deanna Silverman, Human Resources – HR Manager (GSG Americas)

It’s so important that women support and encourage each other to succeed and be their best. A woman alone has power, women collectively have impact.

Yang Chen, Finance & Revenue Accounting – Senior Analyst (GSG Americas)

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.

“Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on”-Serena Williams

Carol Ornstein, Project Management Practice – Senior Program Manager (GSG Americas)

Women have an unspoken and invisible bond that connects us to one another through our female DNA. In this DNA is strength, perseverance, unity, empowerment, intelligence, humor and loyalty to one another. Women can get through unimaginably difficult times – all the while – supporting others. Women are stronger together.

Kara King, Sales & Professional Services – Executive Director (GSG Americas)

Thank you John for including all the amazing women at GSG.

Something that has really resonated with me from other women during the pandemic is how important “self-care” is for women.  During the pandemic many women had full-time jobs, became their children’s teachers, friends, and coaches all while being the household glue.   Some quotes below I thought were so pointed for how women constantly take on more without putting themselves on their own “to do list”.  

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”— Anne Lamott

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”— Mark Twain

“Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we are scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” – Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States of America

Precilla Dalphiny, Talent Acquisition – Senior Recruiter (GSG Americas)

I speak for myself here!

If I tell myself I am a housewife – yes, I am right

If I tell myself I will be a leader – yes, I am right

If I tell myself that I am a mother – yes, I am right

The choice of who I want to be, and the power is within me!

Don’t let traditions, history or society tell you what you must be. The choice and the power is yours and always will be. Happy Women’s Day 😊