Amidst the recent announcements hailing from the US Government and Hollywood (Caitlyn Jenner's transformation, Marriage Equality nationwide) comes another great stride for equality with the statement from the US Treasury department regarding the recent decision to put a woman's portrait on the ten-dollar-bill.
The selection of this lucky female is undetermined, and won't be disclosed until the end of the year, but the new note will begin to circulate in 2020 - 100 years after the 19th Amendment which allowed women the right to vote.
Well, I hate to be a killjoy to such an amazing stride for women and overall equality, but it seems a little laughable in the state of our spending in this day and age to finally "award" a woman a place on our cash when we operate in a seemingly cashless society. To be quite honest, I can't remember the last time I had a ten-dollar-bill (or any bill for that matter) as I use debit, credit, or Paypal to pay for literally everything in my life.
Despite my cynicism, I do have sincere hope that these leaps and bounds being made in gender equality will provide an impact on a few other areas of our day-to-day lives-- and that the symbolism of putting a woman on the ten-dollar-bill will assist in the other changes that I want to see happen in my lifetime:
- The Elimination of the Gender Pay Gap - Women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation and the numbers have barely budged in the last decade. My hope is that my children will always be paid based on their skill sets and experience, and not on their gender.
- Better Opportunities for Encouraging Women to Become Leaders - The Let Girls Learn Initiative certainly is a step in the right direction towards empowering young girls to succeed, but oftentimes women in the workplace are still perceived as being "less than" and are not offered the same opportunities for upward growth as their male counterparts.
- A Woman Running For President Won't be a Shock - 52 Countries have had a female serve as the head of state in the past 50 years, and the United States was NOT one of the 52.
The generations that follow mine have a great opportunity to change the way that women are treated and can show equality in ways that expand far beyond changing the ten dollar bill. Despite the seemingly long road ahead on the path to complete equality, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to share lessons on leadership with my 2-year old son (who will be seven when this bill begins to circulate) and show him that yes, women were finally put on more than the silver dollar, and I hope this only affirms his perspective on women and our worth.