March is Women’s History Month and today is International Women’s Day. This is a time meant to celebrate the many economic, social and political achievements of women around the world.
We live in an unfair (and weird) world where for too long women have not had the same opportunities as men, especially in business. This has been even more noticeable over the last year, during COVID where half the population, women, have been hit the hardest. More than 4.6M women in the U.S alone becoming unemployed and adversely affected by the pandemic.
I have to admit I haven’t thought much about the extent of the negative impact on women, working women, working moms, or what they are going through or how the system is more often than not stacked against them. But over the last few years, between MeToo, TimesUp and BLM – I’ve started learning more. I’ve made the time and the space to do so because it’s important. And while I’m still learning, and Taboola as a company is learning, that doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t also be doing.
Not a Princess, A Queen
In September 2019, my incredible wife, who grew another human!, gave birth to our second child, our daughter, Ellie. I was suddenly hyper aware of the more subtle, almost imperceptible gender biases that I was starting to notice. Starting with myself.
When Ozzy was born, I referred to him as a king (‘melech’ in Hebrew), but when Ellie was born, I referred to her as a princess (‘nesicha’ in Hebrew), but then I asked myself, why should she be a princess – she is a queen. In this eureka moment – I realized that I had made my own kids unequal in status. I had unconsciously been contributing to the gender disparity by not noticing before.
Funny enough, and not much time after, someone at the park told me what an adorable princess Ellie is.
I said…not a princess – a queen.
My daughter was only 1 when this happened. I can only imagine a lifetime of moments like that and worse. It just blows my mind how much mental energy women have to waste on adjusting their behavior and tone to be seen by men as equals. This reminds me of the X-Men moment when Magneto asked Mystique, why do you have to change from your natural beautiful blue to a human form just to deal with prejudices in society? Mystique should not have changed her appearance. Women should not have to feel the pressure to conform their identity according to their surroundings. Stay their beautiful blue, perfection.
As we at Taboola are learning more about DEI, we are growing, including introducing ERGs like TaboolHER, and have been thinking about more ways to support women and empower them.
In that vein, I’m proud to share that Taboola is launching a new global initiative, #RecommendHER
Over the month of March through this campaign, we are donating $500K in free advertising on Taboola to women-owned businesses, which is our way of helping to bring women-owned small and medium businesses back to a place of growth.
We have launched #RecommendHER to specifically support women-owned SMBs in industries most affected by COVID-19, like Travel, Retail and Education.
This is another step on our path to true equity and equality.
Happy International Women’s Day. You are all Queens.