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03/04/2020

The Importance of Advocacy and Equality on International Women's Day, and Everyday

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International Women’s Day not only belongs to not one specific country, group or organization. It belongs to the collective, everywhere. Each year, on March 8, people around the globe come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, in addition to raising awareness around the need to accelerate women’s equality.

As part of 3M’s commitment to providing an inclusive workplace for all employees, specifically our dedication to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, we asked members of 3M’s global Women’s Leadership Forum to create and submit a poem that encapsulates their feelings on International Women’s Day as a 3Mer. One poem in particular perfectly articulated where we are and where we need to go.

About the Poem's Author

When Anna Hoeschen, content writer for 3M’s Health Care Business Group, was approached by her manager to write a poem for International Women’s Day, she was inspired. Poetry is not a genre she typically writes for, but she realized that what her manager was doing was exactly what she’d write about: all the women who saw something in her before she saw it in herself.

“Many women have challenged me and showed me I was capable. The poem is all about seeing something in somebody and encouraging them to cultivate that. It can be hard to see what you’re capable of sometimes without someone to guide you,” Anna says.

Anna reflects that having women as mentors has been integral to her career growth, especially at 3M: “I was in a meeting once with one of my first managers at my previous company and it was getting heated. I don’t care for conflict, but my boss was very powerful and encouraged me to speak up and say something. She was telling me that I have a voice and ideas – use them. I carry that with me.”

When she came to 3M, Anna knew that she wanted that same strong female leadership and she found it as soon as she joined the Health Care Business Group. “I love working under female leadership in health care. Knowing I am a part of a group where women are at the helm is very inspiring and very important to me,” she says. “My boss is an advocate, asking what I want to work on and how I want to grow. Having someone support you is the best feeling.”

Anna says that is one thing she’ll remember if she’s ever a manager or mentor: “I hope I can turn around and extend a hand. It’s important to me to pay it forward.”

Learn more about diversity and inclusion at 3M here.

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