On Friday, Donald Trump was sworn in as America’s 45th president.
On Saturday, a million women plan to descend on the streets in Washington to march in protest of the new president. Another 2 million people will march in more than 600 “sister” protest events in other cities.
They want to show the new president — peacefully but in large numbers — that they will not tolerate the denigration of women, immigrants, black, brown, or ethnically diverse people, Muslims and those of other faiths, as well as of people in other vulnerable communities.
One of the protesters will be Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights, a tech startup in San Mateo, California. Crater is flying to Washington to march with her daughter.
She’s not only attending this event but is calling on all women leaders in business to stand up, speak up and get active now to protect women’s rights, even though in today’s political climate, taking such a stand could be dangerous, she told Business Insider.
“You have to stand up and make your position known. Many people who have done this have gotten death threats, which makes them hesitant to speak out. I think this circle represses the first Amendment. We need to get more politically active and more outspoken,” she told us.
In the spotlight
The threats that concern her are those that appear to come from a certain segment of avid Trump supporters. These people have allegedly sent threats to all sorts of people including journalists, members of the electoral college, people of colour, and people from various religious backgrounds.
Crater is publicly calling on Trump to “stop the bullying” and to “be a good role model for our kids.” She’s referring to Trump’s signature style of the insult, particularly one slung forth on Twitter. The New York Times has published a list of 305 people, places and things that Trump insulted on Twitter in the time since declaring his candidacy for president in June 2015.
During the campaign women’s issues, and issues of sexual assault, were in the spotlight, after a video of Trump surfaced in which he bragged about touching women and kissing them without their consent.
Crater also wants Trump, as a business leader to tweet support for women in the workforce, particularly for equal pay. “The table stakes are so easy for CEOs to do equal pay,” she says. It’s a “simple matter” of having HR examine the pay records between women and men with equivalent experience in similar roles across a company.
She realises, of course, that Trump hasn’t yet given any indication that he’s going to change his signature “counterpunch” style. And his policies on many issues remain to be seen because he’s coming to Washington as a dealmaker, less entrenched in dogma-driven decisions and willing to compromise, he says.
To that, Crater says to all women, particularly business leaders who understand for themselves the art of the deal: stand up, be heard and involved now and stay involved as Trump’s presidency evolves.
“When was the last time I marched? Never. When was the last time any of my friends marched? Never,” she says. “There has never been a more important time my lifetime for women to speak than now. Now is the time.”