Friday, February 15, 2013

I am woman, hear me roar!

As women, we have many recent achievements to celebrate.  For example, after the 2012 election,  Congress now has 20 female senators and 77 congresswomen---an amazing record-breaking number of women!
I recently received a letter from one of these women. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez sent a letter announcing the 
full integration of women into the military. The letter included the following description of Congresswoman Sanchez : “founder and co-chair of the Women in the Military Caucus and…highest ranked female on the House Armed Services Committee.”  I couldn’t help but feel that her presence in the Congress as a woman and a leader, along with the other women in government, help shape policy to even the playing field between men and women.  Receiving her letter at the eve of Woman’s History Month could not be more fitting.
I discovered recently that I have a renewed interest in helping women achieve, thrive and advance.  I started at work first. Just like in College when I was a member of the Women’s Club, I’ve taken advantage of  my company's Team Member Networks which are sort of like those college clubs you see on campus but for employees. The chapter hosted a viewing of the movie Miss Representation which shows the way the media negatively portrays women in movie s and television and how this impacts the way women are perceived at work and society.
 I decided to step up my involvement in the Women Team Member network after seeing that film and borrowed a great idea right from it. We hosted a “speed mentoring” event where senior leaders had the opportunity to share their career journey with other women. Working with a partner, I helped launch a formal mentorship program for women so that we can help each other reach our career goals. 
More recently, I was moved by a book called “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that documents the severe and implorable conditions many women all over the world live including fighting gang rape and torture.  Also included in the book are inspiring stories of women overcoming unimaginable circumstances to help fellow women improve their lives.  This book moved me so much that I decided to see if I could do more to help women in my community. My friends and I are planning fundraisers to send money to some of the organizations featured in the book to help women internationally. I hope I can do more.

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