For hundreds of years, women have suffered from inequality in many arenas. The field of education is no exception. Although women tend to earn college and advanced degrees at a higher rate than men, it is sad that in this day and age, we still face many difficulties and challenges in breaking the glass ceiling.

I came from a humble background. My mother had me as a teenager, and I was the first of seven children. I was very fortunate to have a very strong and determined grandmother in my life who taught me the importance of education, albeit she went no further than grade school.

It was through this humble yet loving background that I learned first-hand the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect, and more so, how important it was to be proud of whom you are. And I am proud to say that I was the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Once I obtained my degree, I thought life would be easy, that I would be able to excel and make money instantly. What a rude awakening I had. I found as I continued to advance in my career that it got tougher and tougher to make a salary comparable to that of my male counterparts.

Today, while we, as women, have made some inroads, we still have “miles to go before we sleep.” It is an ongoing struggle. However, I do feel that if we continue to work together, we will be able to continually demonstrate to both men and women that it is only fair to be compensated equally for performing the same job while having the same educational background.

Overall, I strongly feel that the reason women are not considered “equal” to men extends all the way back to Adam and Eve. Over the years, much has changed yet much remains the same. Although women are in higher positions both in the public and private sector, there is still a not-too-subtle feeling by some men—and I dare say women—who truly believe that a woman’s place is in the home.

My challenge to this thinking is to continue the dialogue and openly speak out as a united force (men and women alike) to dispel this very sad myth through ongoing education and awareness. I am confident we can do this. In unity there is strength!