Banter Bites

Celebrate Today. Change Tomorrow.

Sounds like a vicious circle – how do you get more women into decision-making and leadership positions if they're not already in decision-making and leadership positions?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Don't get us wrong, it's great that there's an International Women's Day, and we love this year's theme of "Women in Leadership."

But think about it. Is there an International Men's Day? And a theme of "Men in Leadership" would be redundant as most people in leadership and decision-making roles are already men. Although, it might make for an interesting Saturday Night Live skit.

But, when you look back over the last year, in our war against COVID-19, you'll see example after example of women in critical roles at the front lines but not as many women in leadership or policy-making roles as you'd hope and expect. So, we both think the International Women's Day 2021 theme – "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world"seems appropriate, although we wish it weren't necessary (for an assortment of obvious reasons). As Black explained to Red,

Going back decades, to my days in the male-dominated oil and gas industry, I have seen first-hand the social and systemic barriers to women in leadership roles, policy-making positions, and even in the decision-making process. But fast-forward to today. We should be past that. Especially when you realize the magnitude of the contributions made by women to help fight – and recover from – the pandemic.

Red couldn't agree more, but then reminded her sister that at the same time women have been contributing so much, they've also been facing more than their fair share of burdens … made worse (sometimes to the extent of being life-threatening) because of COVID-19. Not only (unpaid) caretaking, unemployment, and poverty, but also increased domestic violence and mental health issues.

In writing this post, we both realized …

International Women's Day belongs to us all. And what could be a better way to make a positive difference and honor the theme of "Women In Leadership" than a personal pledge by every woman, of all ages, to be a leader in their daily lives and help other women? Whether in the workplace or at home. Whether our daughters (and nieces), our mothers, our sisters, our friends, our co-workers, or even strangers in our community?

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.