Winter 2017

    By: Leslie Richards-Yellen on Feb 01, 2017

    2017 is a brand new year, bright with possibility. Each New Year provides a perfect backdrop for self-reflection.

    A few years ago during NAWL’s Annual Meeting, a panel I participated in created a pledge. The pledge was inspired by a desire to transform the panelists’ material from inert bullet points into an action plan. Each woman who signed the pledge promised over the course of the year to use her best efforts to assist in the career development of another woman. At the next Annual Meeting, each woman would perform a self-audit to gauge whether she had fulfilled her commitment. If each woman did her part, during the span of one year, the careers of many women would be enhanced.

    As I think of that pledge each year, the spirit of the pledge compels me to take stock of my actions to promote other women over the course of the past year. Did I:

    • Go out of my way to promote another woman’s career without the expectation that she would do the same thing for me?
    • Assist in advancing the career of one woman who doesn’t look like me?
    • Accept responsibility and try to make amends for actions that fell short of the mark or were harmful?
    • Make efforts to advance women under the law?

    By performing my yearly audit, I attempt to get closer to making myself an instrument of change for women. My view is that if I work to improve my efforts to advance women by periodically and honestly evaluating my successes and failures, I can expect the same from other women, my country, employer, and the organizations I support.

    After I perform my yearly audit, I recommit myself to find ways to advance women. Every time I recommit, I feel powerful. I am not precisely sure why I feel powerful, but it has something to do with the potential to make a difference by holding myself personally accountable.

    Each year that I have been a member of NAWL, I have reflected upon whether NAWL has been a meaningful instrument of change for women. I am so grateful for the countless ways that NAWL’s staff, board, sponsors, and members have acted in concert or individually to enhance the prospects of our dynamic organization and each other. I am proud that NAWL periodically evaluates how it can become increasingly impactful.

    Imagine how personally satisfying it will be next year, when you can reflect on all you did in 2017 to advance the career of one or more woman. Imagine how it will feel in 2018 when we have worked together to hold each other, our country, employers, and the organizations we support more accountable for advancing gender equality.

    This year, NAWL has recommitted itself to its vital mission of advancing women under the law. Will you join us by taking the pledge or recommitting yourself to gender equality? 

    Released: February 1, 2017, 2:23 pm | Updated: February 23, 2017, 7:12 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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