This 'Day Without Women,' I'm working, not striking. That's what actually makes a difference
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No success story ever began with someone taking a day off of work.

And yet, that is what the Women’s March is encouraging women to do — skip work. Today, the same group that orchestrated the Jan. 21 march and protests is now telling women they should opt out of both “paid and unpaid labor” on International Women’s Day. Additionally, participants are instructed to only shop at small stores owned by women or minorities and are encouraged to wear red as part of the “A Day Without A Woman” strike.

As a young professional woman in Washington, D.C., I look to successful women as sources of inspiration in order to learn how they became accomplished women. All the women’s stories have a common denominator — hard work.

Here are just a few:

“Nothing replaces hard work. Women have different challenges. You have to be willing to put in the hours and work harder,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

“I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near,” said the late Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister.

“Work harder. Do better. Stop whining,” said Megyn Kelly from NBC News and best-selling author of “Settle for More.”

Certainly, strikes are not a new strategy or tactic. They are, however, becoming increasingly less popular in the workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2007-2016 was the lowest decade on record for major work stoppages.  Furthermore, since 1977, strikes from work have declined approximately 90 percent. Perhaps employees are learning this tactic may not influence their employers as they anticipated in this modern workforce.

While striking may be effective for some women, it is likely the strike will render a similar outcome to the recent “A Day Without Immigrants” strike in February. A number of participants lost their jobs due to the strike.

As one Colorado employer told CNN: “If you're going to stand up for what you believe in, you have to be willing to pay the price."

Women who are skipping work should be prepared for women to lose their jobs after participating in the strike.

The strike is not empowering to women. It will not advance women in the workforce. It does not prove to these women’s bosses they deserve a raise.

While the “A Day Without a Woman” strike will likely receive significant media attention, this is not how I want my family, friends, and employers to remember how I pursued my career. I’ll be at my desk hard at work on Wednesday.

Women do not need to make a statement by skipping work on International Women’s Day. Women have so many opportunities in American society, but hard work coupled with perseverance are necessary to take full advantage of those opportunities. Women’s absence in the workforce does not convey an empowering message for today’s women — or for the women of the future.

What will we be proud to tell our sisters, nieces, and daughters someday? That we skipped work to make a political statement? Or that we worked hard and persevered, even when times were tough?

I have my answer.

Diana Stancy is a Communications Fellow with The Network of enlightened Women.


The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.