International Women's Day

Today (March 8th) is International Women's Day. Observed since the early 1900's, it has grown to become an official holiday in almost 30 countries. More importantly, the focus has shifted from negativity to a celebration of positives. If you Twitter, then check out #IWD2014 and #womensday during the day for more inspirational stories.

Women's equality is one of my passions, especially when it comes to women's cycling and other sports. Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is also very important to me. I don't have a lot of extra time so I support my passion for equality via my actions, blogging, and social media. Interestingly, I've been taking a 21 Day Leadership Challenge and identifying my core values. As I worked through the exercises, women's equality ended up in my Top 5.

In the spirit of International Women's Day, I've been thinking about women in my life that are positive influences and deserve celebration. I'm also thinking about those women across the world that need our support as they fight for equality. I often see surges in my blog stats from countries that surprise me, including several still struggling for basic women's rights. I'm choosing to take the positive outlook that these clicks are women reading my stories and gaining strength to dream of a lifestyle where they can write, work, and play.

Women's cycling has a long way to go when it comes to salary, media coverage, and racing opportunities. On the other hand, the pro women are clear winners as they travel internationally and encourage other women (young and old) to fight for equality. It drives me crazy that sponsors can't see this and continue to short change the women cyclists. A great example of women's cycling impact is in Chloe Hosking's blog on her Qatar experience. At the end of her piece, is a link to Arafa Ali's blog, a woman in Qatar looking toward 2016 and being part of the 1st Women's Cycling Team in her country!

I'm confident 2014 will see a huge swing in women's cycling equality. The momentum from several projects just in the last few months is very encouraging!
 - Women's cycling movie "Half The Road" is winning film awards and selling out
 - Amgen Tour of California has added another women's race this year (May 11-12th)
 - Le Tour de France will include La Course women's race (July 27th)

For those women in my life, thank you for showing your daughters, neighbors, coworkers, and women of all ages what is possible. Through your actions, you are celebrating International Women's Day whether you know it or not. It might not be in our lifetime, but someday this holiday won't be necessary.