Women ARE Adding Value Every Day and Everywhere
I was recently asked to be a guest speaker at the Cypress Women’s Conference, and was grateful to be with such an amazing group of women.
What a wonderful day that reinforced for me once again WHY I do what I do!
After a warm welcome to all by Bonnie Peat, President of the Cypress Women’s Club, Board of Trustees of Cypress School Board District, and Cypress Council Member-Elect, we were fortunate to have Navy Captain Jessica O-Brien share her thoughts on “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” As she shared the challenges and successes of her journey, I looked around the room to see the many interested faces – men and women alike.
During the break, I had an opportunity to engage with several participants. I wanted to know about their challenges, their concerns, their successes… How wonderful it was to hear from this diverse group. Women of all ages, 18-80, different nationalities, from all walks of life… and with more in common than might be obvious at first glance.
Three talented professional women participated on the panel for “Careers Beyond Academia” consisting of Sargent Cassie Olivas of the Cypress Police Department, an American Airlines Boeing 777 Airline Pilot Ms. Trisha Rintoul, and a Los Angeles Fox News Reporter Ms. Hailey Winslow.
My take-a-way once again… is that we can do ANYTHING we want to do… and there is no “one size fits all” career. How exciting!
My presentation to the attendees, “Catch the Wave,” focused on “Women Adding Value Every Day and Everywhere.”
I shared a little about my journey, the people who helped me, and some that I have had the opportunity to help, and how I got to where I am today. What I really wanted THEM to do was to get a glimpse of their OWN journey… the rest of their life… and the life in front of them.
I asked members of the audience to look to their left, to their right, in front of them, and behind them (they were gracious enough to accommodate my request). Then, I asked them what they saw, duh… their faces seemed to say, women, of course!
There is so much more though if we take the time to look closer. They are women who have hopes and dreams, who are wearing many hats, playing many roles of: Mom; Daughter; Aunt; Grandmother; Worker; Volunteer; Leaders in their communities, churches, at their jobs and much more.
It’s easy to think that we are different or maybe the only one who “doesn’t measure up.” Comparing ourselves to someone else is a no-win situation. Because we ARE all different. There will always be someone we think is smarter, or cuter, or younger, or older, or luckier, or, or, or… but things are not always what they look like from the outside in.
We each have self-doubts. We second-guess ourselves. We fear being wrong, rejected, being different, or even worse … of not being loved. There I’ve said it! <mic drop!>
Did you know that each of us has different fingerprints. Think about that… over 7 billion people in the world and no two people have the same set of fingerprints. Why? Because there is only one you and the world needs what you uniquely have to offer.
You see, we are ALL more powerful than we can even imagine. Each of us has the power to change the world, one thought, one action, one person at a time… and it doesn’t have to cost a penny.
We have the power … by asking, by listening, by helping unlock the potential that exists in every one of us… starting with ourselves.
As women, we are complex, strong and determined. We are problem solvers. We have skills that we don’t even know we have. And if that wasn’t enough, we are resourceful, caring AND smart!
FORBES Magazine states that women are opportunity experts, that we have the ability to see opportunities, to give our ideas life and inspire others to do the same. We are recognized as natural leaders.
When we have clarity and get focused, there is no stopping us! We keep our eye on the prize; we are persistent; we have grit and we’re experienced networkers.
Every single time we are in the company of another, we have an opportunity to help people feel that they belong, they matter, that they ARE and can make a difference in the world… we just need to seize that opportunity!
Envision with me: What do you think the impact could be if we truly believed in the power of “US” … If we were able to harness the intellect, the knowledge, the skills and the abilities and turn that into action?
There is an African Proverb:
If you want to go fast, go alone
If you want to go far, go together
I am here to tell you that whether you have 10 minutes, 10 years, or 70 years left, our loved ones, our communities, our nation, and the entire world needs us to go far… today more than ever before.
Melinda Gates, author of The Moment of Lift – How Empowering Women Changes the World, asks a thought-provoking question, “How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – especially for women?” She then shares an equally profound answer, “because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”
Please join me today in lifting others up.
I invite you to share your story with me … your journey of how you became who you are today, and your dreams of where you want to go tomorrow, at firstname.lastname@example.org
With gratitude and appreciation to the many women and men that have lifted me up. – Joan