Empowering Women

"the power and blessing of being a woman"

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

In a shock to everyone I know, I missed the Emmy's this year. It is a shock because I am actually known for my Award Show parties. Sadly, this meant that I had to watch clips afterwards, What really makes this sad is the fact that it really felt like the Year of the Woman (again), at least from social media and traditional media following the event.

Obviously everyone has been talking about the speech made by Viola Davis which and for good reason, it was beautiful, poignant and thought provoking. It aligned so clearly with not just the issues of women of color on television and movies but the entire culture of race continue as a global community to perpetuate. Between the increasing racial tensions in our country with regard to law enforcement to the Syrian Refugee Crisis we remain a world where hate spreads.

If you were to ask most people if they are filled with hate or are prejudiced against other people, they will say no. Nobody admits to being hateful. They make excuses for what they do based on a variety of experiences, religion, history etc. Think about it, most people will admonish the atrocities of World War II and the concentration camps or the Civil Rights Movement yet so many are standing by and watching as the refugees are hit with fire hoses and dogs or another video of a black American being beaten or killed by an officer of the law. 

So what does all of this have to do with the title of this post?

The other speech that impacted me but got less coverage was that of Regina King. Her speech was not necessarily out of the ordinary for an acceptance speech except for her seemingly very sincere shock at having won. There was one section/line though that stopped me.


It is a small but powerful sentence that I haven't been able to get my mind off of it since. It seems that we hear and see in the media a lot of the negatives and burdens of being a woman but rarely see the "power and blessing" being extolled. It is why I think this phrase needs more attention.

I study, speak and educate on women and it took me a minute to determine if I had ever expressed the power and blessing I feel being a woman. My stomach dropped as I realized that I don't honor that enough. Women are the most powerful force in the globe. Many will argue with me I am sure but let's really think about here.

  • 1st and foremost we are the caretakers of the world. Without women, our children wouldn't become healthy and contributing adults to society. Women literally are raising the future.

  • We are responsible for 80% of all purchases

    • advertiser's want our money

  • We have a seat at the table - in some cases at the head of the table

  • We are big in numbers and we are good at organizing around a cause

  • we have more women in high places

  • the power to influence - in my mind, women are the most influential people and yet in the past have never received credit for this 

  • We are educated 

    • 70% of all high school valedictorians are women

    • 62% of all associates degrees

    • 57% of all bachelors degrees

    • 63% of masters degrees

    • 53% doctoral degrees

now that is power...


So that is the power of being a woman, let's talk about the blessings.

It's a blessing because we have a voice and using that voice is changing the world in big ways. I feel blessed to call myself a woman when I see all of the amazing things women are doing. I feel blessed to be/have:

  • We are blessed enough to live in a time where we can get educated and fight for a career, a family and more and there is power in all of that

  • lots of conversations around women and girls now

  • to have a voice

  • empathetic to others

  • to be a caretaker

  • to be able to like sports and wear nail polish at the same time

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

  • that women in my generation earn more than our mother's and grandmother's on average and get to spend that money the way we want and still are selfless enough take care of everyone around us

  •  I don't have to wear heels to cook in ( I actually don't have to cook) but I can

  • I can do anything I want but I don't have to do anything I don't want to do


Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

The real blessing in my life is that I get to help other girls and women by sharing my experiences

There is power and blessings in being whoever we are and it is imperative that we dig in to realize what it means to us so that we can celebrate and express gratitude for who and what we are. Once we realize our own blessings we can be more empathetic to others and open up opportunities for people who don't have them; whether it is welcoming refugees into our country and caring for them, volunteering our time to help others or opening up roles for women of color and other individuals in our art. You may say these have nothing to do with each other but the do. The art that these women do open our eyes to the experiences of others.


Quick tip, be sure to look up the show Regina won her Emmy for, American Crime. It was an amazing look inside ALL sides of a single situation and the struggles we still see around race and gender in this country.


gender equality, it just makes sense.

Women account for close to 80% of all purchases. This statistic is used a lot in the media. In full disclosure, I have used the statistic a number of times in presentations. There is nothing wrong with using the statistic as a matter of fact it is a very useful one in the business and marketing world. It is all the more powerful when you consider that this statistic has changed culture.

Lately it seems that the media is glorifying this statistic behind a stereotype. I have done presentations where people are shocked to learn this number and what it represents but I have also watched people learn this and heard them say things like "well, yeah...women love to shop". You may think this isn't a big deal, but it marginalizes the weight behind the numbers.



These stats don't seem to be talked about quite as much as the other one. They should be though. It is these numbers that actually tell a larger story, a story of how powerful women are, a story of how much women are needed. It's quite simple really.

Don't believe me? Think about this, women are the fastest growing consumer group in the world. That means something. It means the types of products and services that are sold are different than they once were. It means looking at the world from different perspectives. The problem however, is that with all of the growth in education, salary and work for women the spoils of those riches aren't quite growing at the same clip. Consider this...

So how is it that all of these hard working women who invest in their families and produce our food live in poverty? How is it that they only own 1% of the world's property?

It is a problem because not enough of us are speaking out. I know, you have enough to worry about right? We live in a world where hashtags like #feminismisawful and #womenagainstfeminism exist. As a woman this baffles me. How can anyone, especially women believe that fighting for equality is something awful to be against? Rather than give that negative perspective too much time I have some questions for you.

  • How much do you really know about women in our country and beyond?
  • Are we making noise about the topics that matter to us?
  • Do you talk about the gender wage gap?
  • Do you feel limited at work, school or home because you are a woman?
  • Have you ever been cat called on the street, been the target of inappropriate jokes in the office or blamed for something simply because you are a woman?

It's not all doom and gloom by the way. There are a ton of groups and organizations out there now working hard to educate and make a difference for women here in the U.S. and beyond. From advertising campaigns, non-profit's, social media groups, networking groups etc. there is a push towards giving women a seat at the table. Is your voice part of the movement?

Below is an example of a brand working to empower women and create dialogue and discourse. Unilever who has been involved in a number of positive campaigns lately released this new video called Empowering Women. Kudos to Unilever, check it out.

In reading this back, I realize it might be a little bit of a soap box but I am okay with that. At the end of the day, if nothing else happens from my blog, my speaking, my events or my coaching I hope that people will be inspired to get up on their own soap box an stand up for something positive. There's enough negativity out there for 10 lifetimes, why not add something different?

What do we do in our every day lives to speak and build up the women around us? Tell me in the comments below.

Let's start a movement for change.

to help I made this quick reference guide of some of the quotes you read here. It is a quick little thing to post on your instagram, facebook, even pinterest. The more people who know the real deal, the more chance we have at change...so share away.

9 things you should know about women and why they matter

SOURCES:

1.Cia.gov
2.En.Wikipedia.org
3.Worldonmeters.info
4.Unilver: Empowering Women - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O71k6-_59rQ
5.Academia and Education.” Women Moving Millions. (2012).
6.“More Working Women Than Men Have College Degrees.” U.S. Census Bureau (2011).
“Women in America: Indicators of Social and Econ“Academia and Education.” Women Moving Millions. (2012).
“More Working Women Than Men Have College Degrees.” U.S. Census Bureau (2011).
“Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce and Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
Parker, Kim and Eileen Patten. “A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2012).
Anderson, Doug. “Below the Topline Women’s Growing Economic Power.” Nielsen (2009).
Holt, Lester. “Men Falling Behind Women.” NBC News (2011).
“Degrees Conferred by Sex and Race.” National Center for Education Statistics (2012
1.omic Well-Being.” U.S. Department of Commerce and Economics and Statistics Administration (2011).
2.Parker, Kim and Eileen Patten. “A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations.” Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends (2012).
3.Anderson, Doug. “Below the Topline Women’s Growing Economic Power.” Nielsen (2009).
4.Holt, Lester. “Men Falling Behind Women.” NBC News (2011).
5.“Degrees Conferred by Sex and Race.” National Center for Education Statistics (2012)