August 26th is Women’s Equality Day

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Women’s Equality Day celebrates the adoption of the 19th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution. Taking place each year on August 26, it reminds us of the more than 70 years women campaigned for the right to vote before achieving their goal. 

Suffragettes Take to the Streets

Delegates of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, including reformers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, declared that “American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities.” The National Woman Suffrage Association was founded by Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1869, and the cause was taken up by various women activists throughout the decades. 

“These were ordinary women,” says Elaine Weiss, author of “The Women’s Hour.” “Teachers. Factory workers. Farm girls. It was dangerous to be a suffragette.”

Led by Alice Paul, suffragettes were tortured and imprisoned for their cause as they marched in demonstrations and picketed the White House daily. 

Black Feminists Battled Two Fronts

“Black women had their own type of feminism,” says Bettye Collier-Thomas, professor of history at Temple University. “It must be both race and gender. They can’t separate the two because you’d be splitting them in half.”

After the 19th amendment passed, Black women technically could vote, but really they couldn’t because of acts of voter suppression, particularly in the South by organizations like the Klu Klux Klan. Black women and men fought for another 45 years until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited racial discrimination in voting.

Fast Forward: The Fight for Equal Rights Is Not Over 

Almost 50 years ago, the Equal Rights Amendment (Res. 638), which states that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” passed the House and Senate. However, the number of states needed to ratify and enshrine the law into the Constitution (a three-quarters majority or 38 states) was not reached by the June 30, 1982 deadline. 

Taking up the cause of the Equal Rights Amendment again in recent years, women’s rights activists successfully lobbied the state of Nevada to ratify it in 2017. Illinois followed suit in 2018. Virginia became the all-important 38th state to ratify in 2020. With Virginia, the three-quarter majority was reached. Unfortunately, the amendment now sits stalled with the Archivist of the United States, whose job it is to finalize the ratification process. 

PEAK6 Supports Women

PEAK6 seeks to empower women every day. Just a quick look around you (or around your screen during a Zoom meeting), and you’ll see all of the women who make PEAK6 and each of our brands successful. This starts at the top with PEAK6 Co-Founder and Managing Partner Jenny Just and Chief Operating Officer Judi Hart. Deb Franklin is the co-CEO of PEAK6 InsurTech, and Katie Gill is the chief operating officer of Apex Fintech Solutions. Nicole LaPointe Jameson is at the helm as CEO of Evil Geniuses. Michelle Williams is the executive director of Fintech in Action, and Poker Power is run by general manager Erin Lydon.

We also have several programs to support women throughout every phase of their careers at the firm.

  • PEAK6 Trading Experience for Women – A unique introduction for women to the trading industry. This summer internship is designed to encourage smart, ambitious, and collaborative women to break the mold and learn about careers in trading. 
  • Women in Tech Alliance – one of our Employee Resource Groups that strives to elevate PEAK6 women in technology to grow their careers, increase representation, and promote their voices within the organization. They also offer a mentorship program for women in tech, tech adjacent, and those interested in tech positions. 
  • PowHER – a community of PEAK6 movers and shakers that desires a more equitable future with more women at the head of the table, sharing leadership duties, and encouraging change. 
  • Poker Power – a PEAK6 educational platform led by women for women that uses the game of poker to build confidence, challenge the status quo, learn strategy, and assess risk. By empowering women with these skills, we can change the future for generations of women.

Want To Support Women’s Equality?

To commemorate the 102nd anniversary of Women’s Equality Day, the PEAK6 DEI Council is raising funds for the Feminist Majority Foundation and Equality Now, two nonprofit organizations committed to bridging the pay gap for women, enhancing feminist leadership, and increasing the support of women’s reproductive health rights. DONATE HERE

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