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Diversity Equality Inclusion - August 25, 2023
by Chandra Kumar
Rising tides float all boats. I start off with gratitude to those women who led and paved the way for the success of my generation and afforded me the opportunity to rise and have my voice, opinions and thoughts count.
On August 26, 1920, then Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified that women in the United States had the right to vote. The fundamental right to vote affects the outcome of our nation’s policies, practices and future. This date was a key milestone in the journey to women gaining equality and having our voices heard. We celebrate this milestone on this day more than one hundred years later. Two questions remain: how far have we come and how much further do we have to go for true equality?
Personally and professionally, my generation has reaped the benefits of those who have been the firsts: the first female engineers in a company, the first female leaders of an organization, the first business owners and entrepreneurs. We must continue to go from the first, to the second, to the 500th — and beyond.
Progress has been slow but fruitful. We continue to see women struggle to get healthcare and have a voice about what affects their bodies. Part of the remedy is educating women and girls about healthy living, including stress management, eating, body dysmorphia, cultural values and media expectations that, at times, are unobtainable except through Photoshop.
We must ask the hard question of, “what can I do to make a difference?” We as women of differing backgrounds can come together to uplift other women by utilizing our privileges, positions and wisdom to build up and mentor those around us.
Sometimes it is as simple as giving a positive affirmation on a task well done or a kind word to inspire, or to say, “it’s ok to fall, but you are going to get back up and keep charging forward.” Other times, it’s setting an example of what is possible, sharing our strengths and imparting our wisdom from our own personal hard knocks in life.
I encourage women to find male allies who can advocate for and amplify them in their perspective areas. I personally have benefited from having male bosses who advocated for my growth and highlighted my achievements and attributes. Their highlighting of my contributions and skills gave weight and credence to my skills, thus affording me opportunities I would never have dreamed I could achieve.
My personal commitment to seeing my fellow women succeed is rooted in my joy in bringing women to the table, pulling a chair up and making space for them. That means, at times, pushing or nudging them out of their comfort zones. I always say, “you will never be comfortable until you get uncomfortable first.” I take immense pride in seeing women whom I have mentored, encouraged and sometimes even nudged, grow and continue to excel in their endeavors. My ask and reminder to them is to do the same for others, as those who came before did for us.
I know the struggle is real and will continue. We must honor and uplift those around us and celebrate our success while we continue to shape our future by fostering a supportive environment, promoting education in all aspect of our lives and standing shoulder to shoulder with our fellow women. Because together, we are stronger.
Goodwin Living DEI Committee: Statement of Purpose: Educate, Embrace, and Empower team members, residents, members* and all served by Goodwin Living to support Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
Goodwin Living DEI Committee Desired Outcome: The Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee (DEI) will seek open and honest communication and collaboration that will inform and celebrate the age, culture, ethnicity and sexual orientation of team members, residents, members* and all served by Goodwin Living without bias. *Members include Priority Club members and Goodwin Living At Home.
Questions or comments? Please contact us DEI@GoodwinLiving.org.