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Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

Making a Difference!

Posted by YWM on December 15, 2013

Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, CEO Deborah L. Frett delivered the commencement address at Park University on Saturday, December 14, 2013.  Following is the text of her speech. 

John Frett, Deborah Frett, President Droge, Dr. Molly Droge

John Frett, Deborah Frett, President Droge, Dr. Molly Droge

President Droge, Dr. Molly Droge, Board Chair Ann Mesle and Trustees, faculty, parents, distinguished guests, and graduating students, good morning.  For those of you currently serving or who have served in the military thank you and your families for your service.

It is an honor for me to present here at Park University especially due to your long standing commitment to advance the education and career development of veterans.  This includes Park’s astute recognition of women veterans’ unique needs.

But of course the key group today is you, the graduates. We are here today to honor you and recognize your accomplishment and to celebrate this major life event with you, your family, friends and the Park University community.

We all are very proud of you.  This is your achievement.  Relish it!

But of course know it is not the end.  As Newton D. Baker said, “The [person] who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.”  Therefore embrace lifelong learning!

As you reflect on how you got to this point, I know that each of you did it in your own unique and special way.  And however you did it, as you reflect on your future, it is sometimes too easy to focus on how unpredictable the world may seem right now. In order to identify and take advantage of the opportunities before you, you need to always:

•    recognize and celebrate the progress you have made,
•    seek ways to improve yourself,
•    challenge your ability to see and keep your vision,
•    continually learn from your experiences, and, most importantly,
•    take personal responsibility for and ownership of your life.

You have started down that road by getting your degree today.  Now you need to decide what you are going to do with it.  How are you going to use what you have learned and will you make a difference?

I was very fortunate to have parents who modeled the values I wish to emphasize today:  reaching as high as you can and giving back.  They were excellent role models and ahead of their time.  My mother was a working woman and showed me by example I could do anything I wanted regardless of what others said or thought.  My father encouraged me to play sports, to not be afraid and to appreciate those who served in the military – as he was a WWII Navy veteran. They shared family duties during an era where that was almost unheard of.  We didn’t have a lot of money but had a rich upbringing learning about:

•    teamwork,
•    having one’s back,
•    respecting each other,
•    embracing our individuality,
•    and doing what each of us could to make a difference in the world.

Now, as a graduation speaker, I am in an enviable and humbling position to impart a bit of advice as you move on to your next lifetime milestones whatever they may be. Each will be different, because you are all individuals with your own talents, dreams and visions.  And be sure to think about how you will measure your success. As we all know, one way is monetary, but I don’t believe that money-only is what in the long run you will find fulfilling.  Even Henry Ford said that “a business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business.”

It is vital that you find your passion and find ways to make a difference in your communities and in the lives of others.  Whether it is your paid career or your volunteer avocation, your passion should light up your life. Find what makes you happy and live it. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, just one that is true to your inner self.

There are basic but important things you can do in your daily lives that can make a difference. Things you may already do as a matter of course. For instance:

•    To the men in the audience:  Respect the women in your life and serve as that role model for boys and other men;

•    To the women in the audience:  Respect the men in your life and encourage and empower girls and women and serve as that role model for them;

•    And all of us can give back to those who are or have served us and our country.  As an example, you can befriend a military family, volunteer to help a caregiver, or as my organization, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation encourages:  be a mentor.  It is certainly a rewarding way to give back.

As I mentioned earlier, while the world today might seem problem plagued, overwhelming and confusing, we cannot and must not rely on others to change it and make it better.  Each of us needs to take action and make it happen.  Nor can we become complacent or accepting of the status quo.  As Will Rogers observed, “Even if we are on the right track, if we stand still, we will get run over by the next train.”

We each need to keep moving ahead, make our voices heard and take concrete actions to make a difference.  And with your degree in hand it is your turn to step up and set an example for others.

Knowing about the mission of Park University your education here has prepared you to seek ways to serve the greater good. Park is working to help “build the creative, caring workforce and citizenry that our world desperately needs.”  And it is you, the Park graduate, who must take that promise and commitment out into the world and make it a reality.  Park has served you by getting you to this point, now it is up to you.  Go out into the world – find your passion –  and make a difference.  Each of you can make your own impact!

So, how can you actualize your passion, serve others and make a difference?

First,   Set high goals for yourself

Don’t limit your aspirations.  You may not reach all of your goals but reaching is what is important.  Through reaching you will grow and inspire others.  As Eleanor Roosevelt pointed out, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Second Promote your causes in your personal and professional life

I have been fortunate to have had several jobs during my career that helped me live my passion.  As Executive Director of SeniorNavigator, I was on the ground floor in establishing a one-stop resource to help seniors and their caregivers.  This had been a particular passion of mine as I had cared for my mother who was afflicted with Alzheimer’s for over 15 years.  As a caregiver and working woman I understood the desperate need for this kind of service. I am pleased to say that it is still an important central resource for Virginia seniors and caregivers.

Now working for a woman’s organization, I am involved in issues of pay equity, breaking that glass ceiling, stopping violence against women and most recently helping women veterans transition from military to civilian careers through mentoring.  All things I am passionate about.

While I may have managed to marry my passion with my job in recent times, that hasn’t always been the case.  But throughout my career I have found time to mentor others, involve my company in community outreach programs and to do volunteer work outside of the job. And I can tell you that my life is better for the time I spent on these activities.

Third,  Embrace your fears and always make new mistakes

As you leave the safe environs of university life, you will face many decisions and come to many forks in the road. I am not going to tell you not to be afraid but I am going to tell you to do the things you fear and when you make mistakes, which you will, make new ones.  That way you will always be learning. Take the new knowledge gained and use it to forge a new path forward.

Next,  Celebrate Diversity

I urge you to embrace and seek out diversity for that is how we learn about other cultures and discover new ideas. With diversity comes a myriad of opinions and interpretations, both key to innovation and solving common problems. Learning from and appreciating differences will help us all survive and grow.

And finally,  Remember always work-life-family balance

In my current job as CEO of Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, not only do we believe that diverse workplaces are important, we believe that one of the key tenets of a successful workplace is one where you have the flexibility to pursue your outside interests and spend time with family and friends.

Therefore, I hope you will try and achieve work-life balance and enjoy and take time for your family and pursue interests outside of your job. It may be hard to achieve but when you look back on your life, you will be glad you took the time.  A quote I like about life is by Dianne Ackerman.  She said. “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find I have lived just the length of it. I want to live the width [and breadth] of it as well.” I think that is very good counsel.  After all, life is not just a linear line!

So as you leave this special place of learning and growth, celebrate your achievements, reflect on the many lessons you have learned and use them to develop your vision so you are ready for every opportunity.  In honor and  memory of Nelson Mandela, let’s embrace his words, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived.  It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
As you head out into the world, degree in hand, remember the enthusiasm and hope you have right now, and use it to make a difference, today and every day!

Congratulations to you all!

Posted in Diversity, Education, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Finally breaking the “green jacket” ceiling

Posted by egehl on August 28, 2012

Almost ten years ago, I remember well when the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) brought up the issue of the all-male Augusta National Golf Club refusing to admit women into its prestigious club.  NCWO led a push to crack the club’s longstanding policy against female membership which included a high-profile protest during the 2003 Masters tournament.

At the time, I was a young woman fresh out of graduate school and quite frankly didn’t really understand why it was such a big deal and worth the effort, especially given the many other pressing issues facing women’s rights.  So what if men wanted to have their own club?  As a member of a sorority in college, I certainly knew plenty of same sex organizations and clubs that operated without an issue, and each gender was fine with that exclusive make-up.

However, what I quickly learned was that Augusta National was different because of the stature and influence of its all-male members.  And by shutting women out it was sending a message that it was fine to keep women out of the halls of power, and away from where important business decisions were being made.

It is well known that golf is a popular way for professionals to network, share ideas, and get exposed to higher-level people that can advance their career.  Augusta National is no exception and represents a place where powerful business men come together and ultimately benefit each other’s work.  Without women part of the membership it sent a clear message that they are not significant enough to take part in the important business discussions taking place every day in the club, and on the golf course.

Last week Augusta National announced that after 80 years the club will admit its first two women, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore, into the club this fall.  The unexpected announcement garnered a wide array of reaction ranging from praise for the decision to does it really matter in the context of Todd Akin’s ignorant remarks about rape.

So what is the significance of the “boys club” finally changing?  Does it will really help women in the long run? And how symbolic is this decision made by club chairman Billy Payne?

Ultimately the move to admit these accomplished women is symbolic because it shows the importance of getting women access to the business elite.  For decades women have worked hard to earn a right to be in the halls of power in companies and organizations across the country.  Therefore August National’s decision to admit women is an important step in recognizing that women deserve to be in a room filled with accomplished men, and should have access to the same networking opportunities.

While the move may seem insignificant to some in the whole scheme of advancing women in the workplace, anytime there’s a “win” in making sure that women are on an equal playing field as men is important and all part of advancing women’s rights.  When corporate leaders publicly participate in activities that keep women out, it makes a very public statement about the value of women workers and their contribution to the enterprise, no matter their position in the company.  And in today’s society with women making up half the workforce, it’s ludicrous for women leaders to not be in those activities because their experience and point of view should be a part of those discussions and networks.

As Deborah Frett, CEO of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, said on NPR “It was never really about golf.  It’s always been about power and keeping women out of the halls of power and away from where business decisions are made.”

Not all single sex organizations and clubs are the same, and those whose policies present barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace should integrate so that there’s a level playing field in networking, exchange of ideas, and exposure to power.  A club like August National represents power and women should not be kept out of the halls of power in the 21st century when women have ascended to roles of stature in government, business, law, medicine and many other fields.

Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore are ground breaking women and strong choices to break the Augusta National “green jacket” ceiling.  They represent the accomplishments and strides that women have made in the workplace and I have no doubt they will be able to go “toe-toe” with the Augusta members not only in discussions in the dining room, but on the golf course as well.  I hope they represent the first of many future female members wearing the green jacket.

Posted in Diversity, Feminism, Gender Discrimination, Lifestyle, Misbehavin' Notification | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

US Navy Commands Encouraged to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Posted by YWM on August 22, 2012

Would the women of the suffrage movement been surprised by how far we have come since getting the vote in 1920?  Did they foresee women serving side-by- side with men in the military?  Not only are we serving but the Armed Services are celebrating women and women’s equality.  Here is an article from the US Navy on Women’s Equality Day.

By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs

Established by Congress in 1971, Women’s Equality Day was designed to commemorate the long struggle of generations of women to gain the right to vote.

The observance also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts today towards full equality.

The women’s suffrage movement began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Convened by suffragist leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the committee published a “Declaration of Sentiments.” The declaration outlined key social, civil and political demands for women, helping the cause of women’s suffrage gain national prominence. Nearly 72 years later, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed Aug. 26, 1920, granting women throughout the United States the right to vote.

In 1971, to honor and commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment, U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to designate Aug. 26 as the annual Women’s Equality Day. Today, the observance recognizes the anniversary of women’s suffrage and of the continued efforts toward equal rights in the United States.

All Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of women in the armed services during this observance.

Women first entered Naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps, 12 years before women were granted the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy in varying capacities throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed services. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 7, 1948. Four months later the first eight female Naval officers were commissioned Oct. 15, 1948.

Women were first assigned to selected non-combatant ships in 1978, and opportunities were later broadened to include service on warships in 1994 following the repeal of the combat exclusion law. In April 2010, the Navy announced a policy change allowing female officers to serve on submarines. Today, 95 percent of Navy billets are open to the assignment of women.

This year has been a landmark year for women in the Navy. The year kicked off with five women making naval history as the first all-female E-2C Hawkeye crew to fly a combat mission. Plane Commander Lt. Cmdr. Tara Refo, Mission Commander Lt. Cmdr.

ARABIAN SEA (Aug. 26, 2010) An all-female line-handling team guides the phone and distance line from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) during a replenishment at sea (RAS). Harry S. Truman’s deck department used an all-female crew at one of the RAS stations to commemorate Women’s Equality Month in the Navy. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike group is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park/Released)

Brandy Jackson, Second Pilot Lt. Ashley Ruic, Air Control Officer Lt. Nydia Driver, and Radar Operator Lt. j.g. Ashley Ellison were assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 when they made their historic flight Jan. 25.

Two days later, the Navy honored the passing of the fleet’s first female aircraft handling officer, Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills, during a ceremony Jan. 27 in Bremerton, Wash. More than 2,000 family members, friends, and shipmates assembled aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to pay respect to Mills, who was struck and killed by a vehicle when she stopped to assist others involved in a traffic collision in Gig Harbor, Wash., Jan. 23.

In April, the Navy bid fair winds and following seas to one of the original female surface warfare trailblazers, Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. Rondeau holds the distinction of serving as the first warfare qualified female admiral and, prior to her retirement, was the highest ranking female flag officer in the Navy. She retired after 38 years of dedicated naval service.

Later that month, Rear Adm. Michelle Howard was nominated for appointment to the rank of Vice Admiral April 16. If confirmed, Howard would become the first female African American three star admiral. In July, Vice Adm. Nanette DeRenzi was assigned as Judge Advocate General of the Navy. De Renzi is the highest ranking female in the Judge Advocate General Corps, and is the first woman to hold the Judge Advocate General Corps’ most senior position. Vice Adm. Robin Braun, the highest ranking female aviator in the Navy, became chief of the Navy Reserve Aug. 13, and is the first woman to hold the post.

There are currently 35 female flag officers in the Navy; 21 represent the active duty component, and 14 represent the Reserve component.

Enlisted women also made notable accomplishments during 2012. In May, Command Master Chief (AW/SW) JoAnn M. Ortloff became Fleet Master Chief for Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa. Upon her selection, Ortloff became the highest ranking enlisted woman in the Navy, and only the second woman to reach the position of fleet master chief.

Command Master Chief (AW/SW) April Beldo continued her tradition of breaking barriers for women when she assumed her new position as force master chief of Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the first African American woman to do so. Beldo arrived at NETC in April after serving aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), where she held the title of the first female African American command master chief of a nuclear aircraft carrier. She is currently the only woman serving as a force master chief in the Navy.

Policy changes affecting women serving in the Navy also took shape in 2012. The Department of Defense announced changes to the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule Feb. 9. The changes were implemented in May, opening an additional 14,325 positions throughout the Department of Defense previously closed to women.

Today, 54,537 women serve in the Navy on active duty or in the Reserve, comprising 17 percent of the force. Additionally, nearly 50,000 women serve across the Navy in a wide range of specialties as civilian employees.

For more information on women in the Navy, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/organization/bupers/WomensPolicy/Pages/default.aspx.

Posted in Diversity, Military, Non Traditional Jobs, Uncategorized, Women's Equality Day | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Women’s News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by YWM on October 7, 2011

Empowered Workforces

10 most lucrative careers for women [onlined-degrees]

It’s all in the label: “Mompreneurs” – a marginalizing, cutesy term underestimating this population? [Forbes]

Successful Workplaces

Communications industry keeping up w/ diversity and gender goals – improved in two years [MarketWatch]

New report finds gender bias in tech field [VentureBeat]

For women on campus; access doesn’t equal success [Chronicle]

Gender pay gap decreases during economic downturn [New York Times]

Not surprisingly, women worse off than men post-recession [AdvisorOne]

Saluting Misbehavin’ Women

Three women win Noble Peace Prize [New York Times]

First woman named as White House usher [Sun Times]

11 National Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees [WomensIssues]

She is crowned homecoming queen and kicked the winning point on the same night [New York Times]

Female engineer part of team hanging from and inspecting Washington Monument [Washington Post]

First woman justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, joined court 30 years ago [Currier-Journal]

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Margaret DeLillo-Storey being inducted into Ohio’s Veteran’s Hall of Fame [Canton Republic]

Army appoints first African-American woman to Two Star General [WFPL]

First female engagement team in Afghanistan makes positive impact [Black Anthem]

Our Bodies Ourselves turns 40 – remains relevant [Women’s e-News]

A tale of two countries: the Hyde Amendments turns 35 [American Progress]

Women in science: Universities don’t make the grade [Red Orbit]

Gen Y
For young women more important that work is fun rather than lucrative [Jobs.AOL]

Small Business
Women Entrepreneurs take more risk, not less, no Plan B = compelled to succeed [BNET]

Women owned small businesses court optimism, new hires [Forbes]

Developments in women’s small businesses [PRNewsWire]

Joining Forces Summit for Women Veterans to be held in Columbia, South Carolina [Midlands Biz]

Final regulations on federal employees taking leave when family members are deployed issued [Federal Times]

“You Served, You Deserve the Best Care Anywhere” – VA program for women vets [GovHealthIt]

Pink race car honors women veterans [Cincinnati.com]

National Business Women’s Week

Pt Lucie, FL issues NBWW proclamation [TCPalm.com]

Other important news

Women’s Museum in Dallas to close after 11 years and 1.5 million visitors [The Republic]

96 year old woman denied voter ID card in Tennessee [Gawker.com]

Posted in Diversity, Gen Y, Health, Military, Small Business, Successful Workplaces, Woman Misbehavin', Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Women’s News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by sherrysaunders on August 5, 2011

UK survey finds little has changed for women in IT [ITBusinessEdge]

Forbes Workforce Diversity Report says more can be done to facilitate women in the workplace [Huffington Post]

Men get ahead by being disagreeable in the workplace; women don’t [PhysOrg.com]

Most HR directors are not concerned about gender equity [People Management]

Masculine norms: why women find it hard to reach the top [Wharton]

The chore wars: progress is stalling and why it matters [Huffington Post]

Debt ceiling bill called bad business for women [Women’s e-News]

Why debt negotiations matter to women [Forbes]

Startling graphic: global percentages of women in boardrooms, US is LOWEST in world at 20% [Grant Thornton]

More on those corporations with no women on their boards [Forbes]

Photo Gallery: 15 Women Who Broke Barriers [Washington Post]

With admin and office support occupations gone,  stressing employees, most often women, must pick up that extra work [Good Is]

Age-specific lifestyles and friendships among women a thing of the past – multi-generational commonalities are surfacing [Huffington Post]

Administration endorses women’s health no co-pay policy [Wall Street Journal]

New voter ID laws can hurt women [Prospect]

Military spouses face grim job prospects [NPR]

The helplessness behind military sexual trauma, when you fear your fellow soldier more than bombs [Portland Monthly]

A woman vets story: recovering from serving  her country [Huffington Post]

Judge says Milwaukee sick days’ ordinance is over [JSOnLine]

Paid sick leave initiative will appear on Fall ballot in Denver [Denver Post]

Study shows need for paid sick leave in Seattle [CrossCut]

Posted in Diversity, Feminism, Link Love, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Women’s News to Chew On: Link Love for Lunch

Posted by YWM on July 15, 2011

Cultural gender stereotypes can hurt women in the workplace [NewsBlaze]

Girls top Google’s science fair competition [NY Times]

Emanuel ready to deliver paid maternity leave to Chicago [Sun Times]

Only 25% of employers offer paid sick leave verses 33% in 2007 [Wall Street Journal]

“Everything on the table” putting women at greater disadvantage, no jobs gained in recession [Washington Post]

Will America kill the Equal Rights Amendment? [Huffington Post]

Founder of first homeless women’s shelter dies [NY Times]

Closing the gender gap [MillyardCommunications]

Where is the “shecovery”? [Slate]

Chicago business schools not matching eastern competitors in percentage of female enrollment [Workforce]

Women with assets demand inclusive company boards [Women’s e-News]

Where is the diversity in Fortune 500 CEO’s? [Diversity Inc]

Wal-Mart Supreme Court ruling could make lawyers leery of taking women’s workplace suits [Post Gazette]

Woman claims she was fired for having gray hair files age discrimination suit [AP]

Women need to ask for what they need [NY Times]

Michigan anti affirmative action ban overturned [Feminist.org]

Australian woman may soon be world’s richest person [Forbes]

Women veterans’ issues get attention [Times Dispatch]

Parris Island Marine base gets first woman commander [WarnersUpDates]

VA decides to trust women on PTSD [MsMagazine]

First female garrison commander steps down [Cumberlink]

Less diving and faking in women’s soccer than men’s  – will that change? [NY Times]

ESPN using women’s world cup soccer to kick off new ESPN women’s channel [Women’s e-News]

US-Brazil game had biggest women’s World Cup soccer rating since 1999 season [NY Times]

Posted in Diversity, Feminism, Link Love | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joining Forces: Women Veterans Speak Out – No One Told Me

Posted by danielleac on July 4, 2011

Read the latest installment of our every-other-week Joining Forces feature that brings us the voices of women veterans telling their stories.  If you are a women veteran who would like to share your story, please contact us through our Joining Forces for Women Veterans Facebook page, or email dcorazza@bpwfoundation.org.

No One Told Me
by Ginger Miller

I joined the Navy to get the GI Bill to go to college….mission accomplished…well almost. The GI Bill seemed like a sure fire way to get ahead of the game, after being discharged out of the Navy. Yeah that’s right, get out, go to college, and then get a good job. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy!

No one told me about the years of backlog with filing claims at the VA Regional Office, and no one told me that my husband, who was my knight in shining armor, would come back from war a changed man suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

No one told me that there was a strong possibility that I, an honorably discharged disabled female veteran, could become homeless, and that I would have to work three jobs, go to school full-time, take care of my  husband with PTSD, and my 3 year old son, all while living in sub-standard housing conditions.

No one told me during the three-day transition course provided exiting military members that I really wasn’t prepared for the real world and that, there was a strong possibility that my life would be turned upside down for years to come.

No one told me that I would cry out to God after 20 years of marriage, wanting to know if my marriage was a blessing or a curse.

No one told me that God would light a fire up under me to start a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at risk veterans.

No one told me that through my efforts to reach out and help other veterans that my healing process would begin.

No one told me that I would reach the lives of so many veterans in need.

No one told me that through my advocating efforts that I would be appointed to the Maryland Caregivers Support Coordinating Council and the Maryland Commission for Women.

No one told me that one day I would be standing next to some of our country’s greatest senators at a senate press conference, advocating to save the HUD VASH Voucher program.

No one told me that I would one day pursue a master’s degree in non-profit management.

No one told me that the little boy who was once homeless with his parents, both disabled veterans, would grow up to be accepted into the University of Maryland at College Park, with aspirations of becoming an anesthesiologist.

No one told me, but now I know, I will stand on the rooftop and tell every veteran, male or female, that there is help available.

I will tell them about the resources to help them make a smooth transition from active duty to civilian status.

I will tell them that there is hope, because I made it and they can too.

I am Ginger Miller, Disabled Veteran-Wife-Mother-Caregiver-Advocate-Commissioner and President  & CEO of John 14:2, Inc and I am on a mission to help my brother and sister veterans so that they will never have to say, “No one told me.”

Posted in Diversity, Homelessness, Joining Forces, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Two Identities Too Many?

Posted by danielleac on May 26, 2011

I am a veteran. A female one, at that.

Not that I’ve ever considered it a strike against me, but it is a tag that is quickly becoming associated with numerous negative connotations due to the current barrage of media portraying women veterans as hot messes. Transitioning out of the military was a bit hard – after earning the respect and camaraderie of my fellow soldiers (mostly men), I found that when I exited the service, the civilian boy’s club barred the door, and civilian women didn’t quite know what to say to a woman who could hit center mass from a couple of hundred yards with a big gun. (Most of them probably didn’t know what “center mass” meant..) And, yes, I carry a couple of scars, figuratively and literally, that I didn’t claim before I entered the military. But, I’m not broken, nor are most of the women vets I know – we take multi-tasking to a new dimension, we never give up, and we just won’t stop until we’ve surpassed our goals.

I am a Gen Y er. Thirty. College degree. Married. Couple of kids.

The civilian workplace surprised me by boxing me into yet another category: Gen Y (born between ’78 and ’94). It took me some time to understand why this was a negative, as Gen Yers are known to be speedy workers who complete tasks and move on, individuals who appreciate hard work and hard play, and surprisingly, intrinsically motivated to finding the answers to life and work using every tool at their technologically-advanced fingertips . It is a strike, though, since change is hard, and the way of the younger generation does not match up with status quo.

So, what’s the bigger problem?

The snowball , in my opinion, is that there are too many of us. Too many misunderstood veterans, too many barely-launched Gen Yers that don’t know where to start to get what they want (or don’t have the patience to wait for it), and way too many employers who realize they need us to replace the ever-aging Baby Boomers, but don’t know how to harness the initiative and committed nature of either sub-population.

Here’s where you come in, Gen Y Women: Help BPW Foundation continue pursuing the creation of Empowered Workforces and Successful Workplaces by telling us what you think by taking this Gen Y survey.

We promise not to stop researching and working on your behalf, our history as the first Foundation to tackle women’s workplace issues stands behind us as proof that we mean what we say.

Posted in Diversity, Gen Y, Gen Yner, multigenerational, Successful Workplaces, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

International Women’s Day: Its Our Day

Posted by weeksm on March 6, 2011

 March 8, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day of recognition.  Thousands of events are being held around the world to celebrate women’s achievements, discuss issues and inspire women. This year’s theme for IWD is “Equal access to education, training and science and technology:  Pathway to decent work for women.”

In 1910, Clara Zetkin, leader of the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed the idea of an International Women’s Day at the 2nd International Conference of Working Women.  The conference attendees, more than 100 women from 17 countries, unanimously approved the suggestion.  The very first IWD was launched the following year on March 19th in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.  More than one million women and men attended rallies supporting women’s rights.  In 1913, IWD was moved to March 8th, which has remained the global date ever since.

In 1975, during International Women’s Year, the United Nations began celebrating March 8th as IWD. The General Assembly cited two reasons for adopting its IWD resolution:

  • To recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms requires the active participation, equality and development of women; and
  • To acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

The day has traditionally been marked with a message from the U.N. Secretary-General.

While women around the world have made great strides since the first IWD, women still do not receive equal pay to that of their male counterparts, they are underrepresented in business and politics, women’s education and health are worse than men’s, and rates of violence against them are higher.  BPW Foundation continues to work to transform workplaces in the United States by strengthening the capacity of organizations and businesses to create work environments that are inclusive and that value the skills and contributions of working women.

So in March, as we begin celebrations for Women’s History Month in the United States, let’s think globally.  There are 154 IWD events across America from Alaska to Florida listed on the IWD website at www.internationalwomensday.com. Be a part of the global sisterhood!

Posted in Diversity, Equal Pay, Feminism, girls, Global, Pay Equity, Successful Workplaces, Women's History Month | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

It Happened This Week: Black History Month

Posted by sherrysaunders on February 22, 2011

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts to remember during Black History Month.
February 22

1832 The Female Anti Slavery Society of Salem was established.  Mary A. Battys was the first president.

1956 – In Montgomery, Alabama, 80 participants in the three-month-old bus boycott voluntarily gave themselves up for arrest after an ultimatum from white city leaders. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks were among those arrested. Later in 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court mandated desegregation of the buses.

February 23

1868 – William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (W.E.B. Du Bois), educator and activist, is born in Great Barrington, Mass.

1965 – Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by an African American woman in a major American city.

1979 – Frank E. Peterson Jr. is named the general in the Marine Corps. He is the first African American to hold this post. He was also the first African-American Marine Corps aviator and the first African-American Marine Corps general. Peterson retired from the Marine Corps in 1988 after 38 years of service. “At the time of his retirement he was by date of aviator designation the senior ranking aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps and the United States Navy with respective titles of “Silver Hawk” and “Gray Eagle”. His date of designation as an aviator also precedes all other aviators in the U.S. Air Force and Army.

February 24

1864 – Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in 1833. She worked from 1852-1860 as a nurse in Massachusetts.

1999 Lauryn Hill, Hip-hop and R&B star won five Grammy awards, the most ever won by a woman.

February 25

1948 – Martin Luther King ordained as a Baptist minister.February 26

1971 – President Nixon met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and appointed a White House panel to study a list of recommendations made by the group.


February 26

1869 – Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing African Americans the right to vote sent to the states for ratification. It was ratified February 3, 1970

1920 – In 1920, Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950) founded “Associated Publishers.”

February 27

1872 Charlotte E. Ray, the first Black woman lawyer, graduated from Howard University.

1902 – Opera singer Marion Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1939, Anderson was scheduled to perform at the Daughters of the American Revolution  concert hall. After the DAR refused to allow her to perform, she performed an outdoor concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1942 Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born on this date.  In 1961, she and Hamilton Holmes integrated Georgia University.  Upon her graduation in 1963 she became the University’s first Black graduate.  She went onto become a nationally recognized and respected journalist.

1988 Ice skater Debie Thomas because the first Black American to win a medal (Bronze) at the Winter Olympics.

February 28

1776 George Washington wrote a letter to poet and slave, Phyllis Wheatley, inviting her to visit his Cambridge, MA headquarters.  She had earlier sent him a poem she had written in his honor.

1943 The play Porgy and Bess, Staring Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, opened on Broadway

1999 Venus and Serena Williams both won tennis tournaments on this day making it the first time in the Women’s Tennis Association’s history that sisters had won championships on the same day.  Venus won in Oklahoma City and Serena won in Paris.

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