I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
I like this quote by Edward Everett Hale, a 19th century author, historian and minister. Lately, I’ve been contemplating this quote, the purpose of this group and the senseless death of George Floyd; I want to take action! But I’m not sure what I can do that will make a difference. Every day I try to show empathy and to make people feel comfortable to discuss the topics we face today but it doesn’t feel like that will make a difference fast enough. And it feels like we don’t make any progress with equity for all humans. What additional actions can I take?
I met Dr. Larzette Hale while attending college. She was a role model not just because she was the first black female CPA to earn a Ph.D. in accounting, but also she genuinely cared for her students. She and another professor, Dr. Vernon Buehler, inspire me to mentor and coach every day, which I use to try to bring equity within the workplace. But I am only one person at only one company, so how can that help bring equity for all humans?
I think it will take something big like Title IX that was enacted June 23, 1972 that was a huge part of helping women attend college. And now that women represent 50% of the workforce, why do we still make 20% less?
And what the Supreme Court did on June 15, 2020 to bring equity by granting civil rights to LGBTQ is something big. On paper this helps this group but how long will it take for society to actually grant it?
June 8, 1983 the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, showed all the women and girls in America that they could be a scientist and yet we are still not seeing a high enough percentage of women going into STEM or once they are in a STEM industry they leave more quickly than men. What else can we do to provide equity for women and blacks in STEM companies?
Women, blacks, LGBTQ all want equity - authentically shared power and voice. In my opinion, without gender, racial and sex equity, there will be no equity for any individual group. One of the reasons I joined Women Inspiring Leaders is I wanted to help women accelerate their path to leadership. What can our organization do to assist with equity for all groups?
I guess sometimes its OK to admit you don’t have the answers. But I hope this generates discussions and that some day we figure it out. I hope for a day where we can see equity for all in the world.