There's a global sisterhood movement that is taking shape. Women are speaking out on the issues of women and girl empowerment through all platforms and networks. 11 October was the UN International Day of the Girl Child and women across the world are joining their voices in a global narrative that reshapes the vision of what it is to be a girl in the 21st century. You haven't seen the best of us yet - says the Plan International gripping video that went viral. It is valid both in the areas where access to simple human rights for girls is stil an issue to the world where there is pay gap and sexism at work.
We have all read Sheryl Sandberg's book - my generation of "lean-inners" swears by her advice and guidance. There are charismatic women out there who have made envious careers, who are role models and game changers, who have become our mentors and made it easier for us to sit at the table with the big boys. While the sisters are uniting, I keep wondering where are the brothers and mostly - where are the fathers?
My personal experience has proven to me that fathers or male guardians and mentors have a fundamental role to play in securing that seat at the big boys' table for their daughters. If I can sit in endless meetings being the only woman in the senior management - I owe it to my father.
I was only a wobbly baby and he already treated me as his equal; as I started growing up he listened to my advice on his work situations no matter how naive and childish it was. He was equally involved in the choice of a dress for my prom night or in mending my broken heart. He taught me to manage my finances and navigate delicate relationship situations, making my voice heard without being aggressive.
The irony of it all is that being quite a patriarchal and maybe even old school himself, he was unaware and unconscious about a fundamental contribution he made to my empowerment. Spending time, sharing the roller coaster of his professional life, and most importantly treating me as his equal and never limiting my vision or ambitions unconsciously prepared me to the male-dominated world of power.
It is less of of a testosterone-driven mystery when I walk into an all-male meeting room. I know the rules of the game: the silly in-jokes, the sexual humour, the aggressive tone, the friendly bullying... I may dislike it but I don't feel uncomfortable or insecure in it. Most importantly, I know that I can work with them without becoming them or being threatened by them. Navigating that world becomes instinctive when as a girl you've grown up around your father who was your best mate.
On the UN International Day of the Girl Child we should not only unite in sisterhood but call all men out there to play baseball with their daughters and take a step into their daughters' world, listen to them and share their boys' world with them. They should stand by their daugters' side whether she wants to be a pilot, a beautician or a full-time mother. By empowering those girls, they will secure a world more equal where women can make choices for themselves, take leadership positions and not feel discriminated or dominated. And if they are - those girls will know how to argue their case - but hopefully by that time those meeting rooms will not be all ties and suits.