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Women everywhere! With self-confidence and the consequences in mind!

I had to smile a bit when I learned yesterday in the news that soon there will be the first all-female space mission at the ISS station. The much-quoted “bad girls” are actually going everywhere, even into space, I thought!

On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first person ever to fly into space, and on June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to go there. Vitaly Davydov of the Space Agency Roskosmos admits: “There are hardly any role models for female Russians interested in space.” But also in space, there are obviously pioneers who make it without role models.

Also the suffragettes in the last century hardly had role models when they won the women’s suffrage around 100 years ago. They did their thing! And that, even though they knew the sometimes dangerous consequences of their actions. Respect!

March 8: International Women’s Day
March 8 is International Women’s Day. We should not lament that only oppressed minorities get a special day by the United Nations, because – tada! – there is also a United Nations Men’s Day! (if you want to congratulate your favoured man: it’s the 19th of November).

Rather, we should go more naturally into the world and do our thing, just like that, as a matter of course! Some women may want to make a professional career, others prefer to be a wife that actively engages in social welfare projects. Important is that we do things consciously and with a view to the consequences of our chosen path. Not “because life has pushed us there”, but “because we have chosen to go there”, we should be where we are now. To follow one’s own path, to consider the consequences of our doing – that should be our way! This requires a certain coolness and to switch on our brains. Sometimes it hurts a bit to take off the “pink hope glasses” or the “everything-will-turn-out-well-mask”. If something should go wrong, these two will not help!

Yes, right, there is not only the pension gap, but also the wage gap. Here it is: eyes open, identify possible wage difference, and then: negotiate! If necessary, book a negotiation training beforehand! It is important that we stand up for ourselves; if we don’t do it, who should? Some fairy-tale knight?

Don’t be surprised, but act consciously!
It’s not surprising that women on average receive less pension than men. Most public pension systems are performance-based, and those who look back on a CV with many interruptions and part-time jobs, should not be surprised to find themselves receiving less pension than someone who has been contributing regularly for 40 years.

If a woman or a man raises children or cares for grandparents or parents, these are important tasks. But then, however, it is important to agree with the other family members on how this will be remunerated or compensated by contributions into a private pension insurance – as soon as possible, not “someday”! To have a look into your wallet in the end and wondering: “Uops, it is so little in there!” is not acting like an adult. We do not want that.

May be some of us are hit by lucky coincidences every once in a while… We should gratefully accept such gifts and then carry on, with a careful look at all the consequences!


This commentary reflects the opinion of Fondsfrau Anke Dembowski.

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