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DEI Committee

Diversity Equality Inclusion - March 11, 2022

The Beauty and Power of Women

By Theresa Thomas

The contributions of women have always been present, though their work often goes without acknowledgment.

Women wear numerous hats: mother, daughter, wife, sister, aunt, employer, employee, caregiver, transportation provider, finance manager, nurturer and hand-holder. Many of these hats are worn behind the scenes, but the world would most likely come to a devasting halt without them. With every hat a woman wears, we must acknowledge her for her expertise, compassion and humility. What would the world be like without women?

In 1978, the schools of Sonoma County, California, organized a weeklong celebration of women’s history, issues and contributions. Just a few years later, in 1981, a U.S. congressional resolution proclaimed the week of March 8 to be National Women’s History Week. In 1986, the National Women’s History Project played a significant role in extending the observance to the entire month of March.

Although we have seen the presence of women in Congress, boardrooms, sports arenas, medical fields, engineering and more, women are still paid less. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median earnings for women were 83.1 percent of men’s earnings in 2021. This stark disparity has hardly budged for more than a decade; the pay gap between men and women has sat at 80-83 percent since 2004.

As we celebrate every woman who continues to prove that “girl power” will always be important, let’s remember some of the women who inspire us:

Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Marie Curie was the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize after her efforts led to the discovery of radium and polonium, which we use in X-rays.

Susan B. Anthony played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement as a women’s rights reformer. If you are a woman and have ever voted in a U.S. election, give a big thanks to Susan B. Anthony.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first Muslim American woman ever to wear a hijab while competing for the U.S. in the Olympics. She is an amazing fencer and a pioneer for generations to come.

Tarana Burke has made waves for women all over the world. She has broken the silence about sexual assault and abuse She is a woman to be inspired by.

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize after becoming an advocate for girls’ education and being shot on the way home from school. She is a tremendous influence on our young people in the world.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She has served since August 8, 2009. She is the third woman to hold the position. Sotomayor is the first woman of color, first Hispanic and first Latina member of the Court.

Mae Jemison is a physician who volunteered with the Peace Corps and the first female Black American astronaut. Mae was also the first Black woman to go into space.

Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1972, she became the first Black American to contend for the presidential office.

Anne Frank was a German girl and Jewish victim of the Holocaust who is famous for keeping a diary of her experiences.

Changes in our world require women to adjust their hats daily. We change hats more frequently and can find ourselves adding more hats because of the greater needs we see. We are fortunate to have circles of support from other women who share our desires, understand our struggles and influence us to persevere.

It is essential to remember past women of influence, but you only need to look in your community, place of work and family to see the women of today. They are making the world better through their efforts to celebrate and support one another and the world they love. Take time this month to appreciate the beauty and power of women.

About the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee:
We are a group of staff and residents who together serve a mission to educate, embrace and empower a workplace of diversity, equality and inclusion. Our vision is to seek open and honest communication and collaboration that will inform and celebrate the cultural, ethnic and sexual orientation of all members of our staff without bias.

Questions or comments? Please contact us


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