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Learning to become in Sync with your Inner Leader

Posted by Caitlan Wyatt on April 27, 2015 at 11:08 AM

My plea for all women entering or are in the workforce is to remember to “be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do”.  If any woman is going to work towards empowering women in whatever they are involved in, self-confidence is key. It is vital that we remember we have earned a spot at the table, our voices have power and we have the ability to make a difference. 

When I say that the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference changed my life, I am not exaggerating. The first year when I attended the conference I finally became immersed in the feminist community, making bonds that would turn into meaningful friendships and creating contacts to help me grow. This year my goals for conference were a little different because of advice I was given in-between conferences, being closer to graduation and entering the job market. Through a connection I made last year at NYFLC I was able to meet with author and financial analyst Stacey Tinsdale over the summer. The meeting was filled with empowering financial advice for women on how to achieve their goals and use money to enact social change. The best nugget of advice I took away with me was that it is important for women to be economically empowered so they can create positive in the world of minorities. Between my goals of wanting to be able to provide for myself after graduation and the advice Tinsdale offered me, I decided this year’s conference goals would be centered on female empowerment in the workplace.

NYFLC-AS-foreva.jpgMy plea for all women entering or are in the workforce is to remember to “be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do”.  If any woman is going to work towards empowering women in whatever they are involved in, self-confidence is key. It is vital that we remember we have earned a spot at the table, our voices have power and we have the ability to make a difference.

Going back to what Tinsdale told me over the summer for women to create social change it is a must that women be economically empowered. It is a well-known fact that there is a pay disparity between women and men. The idea that women make 72 cents to the man’s dollar is not the full story of the wage gap: initially the gap starts out small and widens over time as people progress through their careers. Other factors that impact the gap include education level, race, the state an individual resides in and if children are in the picture. What can be done to combat this difference? Individuals pushing for polices beyond the Equal Pay Act that account for changes in the workforce and encouraging the executive branch, states and cities to make sure workers are being compensated fairly. Women need to channel their inner Beyoncé or whoever make them empowered so they can understand their worth and not fear fairly negotiating their pay when going into interviews and jobs. It is important for businesses and companies that value ethical treatment and fair pay to come forward and show how this is beneficial to both the employee and the employer.

Female empowerment in the workforce moves far beyond the work place. It is important for individuals to have an interest in politics. One of the best ways to create an environment in which women can thrive in the workforce is to elect more Beth Bernstein’s, Barack Obama’s and Shirley Chisholm’s to office. The individuals we elect are the ones who decide who fills the courts. Our society needs more Notorious RBG’s and Sonia Sotomayor’s to advocate for women in the work place, labor rights and family values. These are the people who will be tasked with deciding on issues that impact working family issues, paid sick leave standards and providing families with maternal and paternal leaves without rise of losing employment.

This year’s conference included a caucus tailored to graduating students and alumni that provided NYFLC goers with advice on how to transition from college to the workplace. The overall theme of this session was: network, network, network! It is vital we utilize social media to keep in contact with people we encounter and nurture relationships we make with people because we never know where those connections might take us. Take charge and reach out to others and attend local chapters of women’s organizations – this is huge when trying build new relationships wherever you might be. It is important to have the feeling of belonging in our community so there is the feeling of connection and belonging to encourage involvement and fight off feelings of loneliness.

Women, please remember that your talents, thoughts and values have worth. Take charge in your community and do not be afraid to speak your opinion and seek leadership opportunities because female empowerment in the workplace will not happen unless we act like the superwomen we are. 


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