While flowers, chocolates and jewelry are lovely Valentine’s Day gifts, women would actually prefer to receive more meaningful things this holiday (or any day), such as equity and a seat at the table.
Have Her Back teamed up with Huge Midwest to create a more accurate Valentine’s Day gift guide, replacing the typical candy hearts and fluffy stuffed animals with much more powerful, game-changing ideas.
The guide, which went live today on Have Her Back’s Instagram Page, includes six "items," all of which have links to articles on LinkedIn that further explain the concept.
Check out the gift items and their descriptions below.
1. Equity: For Her: If you’re thinking of gifting her a timeless perfume, nothing beats the sweet, sweet smell of authentic cultural change. Don’t fret about breaking the bank on a bottle. You’ll pleasantly surprise her with 100 "scents" on the dollar. It’s more than she makes by 33 "scents" if she’s Latina, 26 if she’s black and 20 if she’s white. That smells like success.
2. A Dozen Hours of Unpaid Emotional Labor: Sure, a bouquet of a dozen roses is lovely. But it doesn’t last long. Give her the gift that keeps on giving: returning a dozen hours of unpaid emotional labor to her already overdrawn bank! What is this emotional labor we speak of? It is the "unpaid, invisible work women do to keep those around them comfortable and happy," according to Gemma Hartley’s book Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward. Whether it’s listening to their coworker’s woes, planning every one of their child’s birthday parties or always smiling through the most irritating moments, women’s "banks" are in the red. Go on. Gift that time back.
3. A Seat at the Table: We know what you’re thinking: what could be better than reserving a table at her favorite restaurant? Reserving her a seat on your Board of Directors! Why, you ask? Here’s a quick stat to chew on: Women make 85 percent of consumer purchase decisions and spend $40 trillion dollars every year. And yet... women hold just 16.9 percent of board seats globally, according to Deloitte Global’s Women in the Boardroom report. Can we please speak with the restaurant’s manager? That total just doesn’t add up. This Valentine’s Day (and every day), don’t just invite her to the table. Give her control of the menu.
4. Accepting *Her* Proposal: Wooing her with a well-planned proposal and a shiny diamond ring may seem tempting. (You can thank Instagram for that V-day pressure!) But truly accepting her proposal in your next meeting shows that you really know how to speak her love language. And when you find yourself on the verge of mansplaining, consider these questions: Are you interrupting her to make sure you sound like the smartest person in the room? Or to better understand her idea? If it’s the former...and you’re still reading this article...you’re on your way to self awareness. And we’re here for it.
5. The Crown Jewel of Company Culture: The bright glimmer in her eyes when you present her with crystal clear company policies, such as unbiased hiring, transparent promotions and pay parity will outshine any sparkly, trendy necklace or earrings du jour. Nothing pairs better with a power suit or wrap dress than this crown jewel of your company’s culture. Authenticity is SO in this season.
6. All the (c) "Sweets:" And last, but not least, don’t forget to satisfy her sweet tooth. But, forget that boring box of chocolates. She’s craving a different kind of sweet. The C-Suite. That’s right. An all-woman leadership team. Who would dare? CEO and COO and CFO…oh, my! The Fortune 500 boasts only 33 female CEOs. And of those 33, only two are women of color. If life is like a box of chocolates, we’ll take 500 of these C-suites, please.