Photo: Tom Hilton
Gender at Work

10-year-old girl asks her school for a day off to join the Women’s Strike

March 8 is the Day Without Women, in which women will refuse to spend money and stay home from work to show their economic power.

One young girl is asking for a day off work to join the protest — and her job is elementary school. In an impressive lesson, Lottie Moreschi showed keen professional instincts about how to ask for a day off work. 

It started when Raleigh, North Carolina native Laura Moreschi had a lively conversation with her three young daughters about activism and ways to protest.

Lottie, her 10-year-old, was determined to participate— but, unlike other nearby schools, her school had decided not to close for the day. 

Lottie decided she would accept one unexcused absence for the occasion— but she wanted to handle it “like a grown-up.” So she wrote a letter to her principal explaining why she planned to take March 8th off.

“I would like to participate in the ‘Day Without Women’ protest,” Lottie wrote, describing her plans for the day: “I am going to write a letter to the editor, contact my congressman, and do whatever I can to make my voice heard.”

As for schoolwork, she has it handled: “I will get my schoolwork ahead of time,” wrote Lottie, who displayed the well-established characteristic of women to prepare heavily for big challenges.

Lottie’s mom says she is proud of her daughter, not only for her decision to support women’s rights, but in how maturely she handled the effects of her actions.

“I have never participated in a ‘strike’ before, and haven’t even protested for many years, but I am so in awe of her engagement,” Moreschi told Ladders.

While Lottie was confident in her request, many women may hesitate to ask for the day off if they wish to participate in the Day Without Women. Lottie is no corporate veteran, but there are several lessons any adult can learn from how she handled taking the day off.

She was direct

Lottie came right out with her request in the very first sentence of her letter. People often bury requests they’re afraid may not be received favorably. Being direct, however, helps your case. Bosses are busy and don’t want to spend their day on email figuring out what you’re trying to say.

She clearly explained why she needed the day off

If you want to take a day off for an urgent or specific reason, it helps to say why. Some kids might just be looking for an excuse to ditch school. Lottie, however, has a well thought-out plan for her day away from school, which shows why her absence should be excused — and it sends a message to her principal that she values social causes.

Whether you’re planning to take March 8th off so you too can support a cause— or there’s another day when you feel your presence is needed elsewhere— it’s important to explain what you’ll be doing to your supervisor. That way they’ll be more inclined to support your requests in the future.

She assured her principal she’d still get her work done

Lottie isn’t shirking her schoolwork. She is participating in the Day Without A Woman protest in order to stand up for her convictions. That being said, her absence from school doesn’t mean she can’t get her work done.

This may not always be possible when taking a personal day, but if you can, it’s a good idea to explain how you plan to make up for your absence. If you outline how you plan to stay on top of your work, your boss will continue to see you as a responsible employee who isn’t looking to shirk any duties.

 

Lottie’s even inspired her younger sister to participate in the strike with her, and write a similarly well-penned letter to her principal.

One important factor: If women feel they can’t afford to take time off, and they want to participate in the same cause as Lottie, there are a number of other ways to show support.