Finding Your Power Across Generations: Empowered Women Empower Women

By: Caleigh Joyce

As I search for inspiration in my daily life my mind is immediately drawn to the women in my family. Their stories have been told to me my entire life, typically by other people, rarely by these women themselves, and when they do tell their stories it is always with a tone of “well what else did you expect me to do?”

“A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

My Grandma Nancy immigrated to New York from a tiny, remote farm village in Ireland. She saved up every cent she had and moved to Dublin when she was eighteen, spent a year working in the city, and then booked a ticket to New York, it was the first time she had ever left home. When she arrived in New York, it was completely overwhelming. She was staying with a very strict aunt, who was the only person she knew in America. She spent the first few weeks there walking up and down the streets of Manhattan searching for a job. This was made difficult by the heavy racism that existed towards Irish people in America at this time. Most businesses at the time had signs posted in in their windows saying, “Irish need not apply.” She finally found a position at a restaurant in a small corner of the city. By the time her first year had passed, she could never dream of leaving America. She spent the next decades starting a family with my grandfather and as she had found a love of taking care of people, she became a caretaker for the elderly, a job she had for the rest of her life.

My Grandma Bette was one of the first women to attend the University of Minnesota. She graduated with a degree in journalism. Using the motivation of the female workforce that emerged during World War II, she pushed into the man’s world of journalism refusing to take “no” for an answer. She wrote about the rising world of television, current events, and architecture. Using her new journalist badge and a large amount of pluck, she was able to talk her way into several once in a lifetime experiences. Once she even used her status as a journalist in Minnesota to crash Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco’s wedding. Another time she convinced a security guard to let her into Carnegie Hall when it was closed. She insisted that my grandfather, who was an architect, simply had to see it, and that they would not be leaving until he did. Defying the odds, and working with grit, luck, and perseverance is something that she still does today. She is currently 93, and is about to publish her memoir, A Lifetime of Luck and Pluck, the fifth book she’s written in the last decade.

My mother, Susan refused to pay attention to the boys at school who didn’t believe and didn’t want girls to be smart. She worked hard and proved them all wrong by growing up to attend Harvard. When she graduated, she started what was quickly a successful career in Boston and New York, and then went back home to Minnesota when I was born. After realizing she had way more energy than a sleeping baby, she started a financial consulting business. Again, deciding to ignore the boys who said that girls couldn’t be good at math, she successfully ran her financial business while raising two children. Now she uses her math skills for good, consulting for nonprofits and using impact investing to help change the world into a better place.

“Women have to harness their powerit’s absolutely true. It’s just learning not to take the first no. And if you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.”  -Cher

As with so many empowered women before them, the women in my family have a power that is quiet, but obvious. They don’t walk into a room demanding you notice their strength, but you see it with the way they walk anyway. My Grandma Bette, who just turned ninety-three still makes heads turn when she walks into a room.

I see so many women with stories of how other women in their lives have crossed great mountains without ever asking for praise for it and have become embarrassed when it is given anyway. But I think it is so important to acknowledge the odds that women have overcome in their daily lives, and throughout history.

As I look towards the future, I think of graduating college this spring, and heading out into the real world. Inspired by the injustice women, as well as people of color and LGBT people have faced for centuries, I am committed to fighting for equality and human rights, and hope to get a job where I can help to make a difference. I look back at the great women who have come before me and hope that the memory of their victories will empower me with all the strength and courage that has come before me.

 

Girls Just Want to Have Funds: Why Women Should Invest

By: Caleigh Joyce

Before my mother and father got married, my mother (who has a CFA, has a master’s degree from Harvard in business, and began her own financial consulting business in 1998) had already begun to take over her mother’s finances with the help of her financial advisor. After she married my father (who has a Communications degree and works in Public Relations), the financial advisor congratulated her… and asked to take her husband out to lunch. After that, every financial advisor they ever had only wanted to deal with my father- and ignored my mother.

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Women in the Running: Making This Midterm the Opportunity of the Century

By: Haley Kaul

The wave of women is rising. The midterm elections are coming up on November 6th, and it is important to look at those on the ballots. This midterm, there is an influx of women running for political offices. One of the biggest factors of this increase is probably the multitude of male politicians that don’t have women in mind. In fact, many of them often disregard another perspective. This leaves women wanting to fight for the positions that have let the female narrative fall through the cracks. Women want to make life better for other women.

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The Lives of the Party

By Lydia Sather

I don’t really like parties. I’ve had a pleasant experience or two at a soiree with close friends or ringing in the New Year, but for the most part, they are terrible and I hate them. For my birthday as a young child, a girl that was invited by my mother would tell me what my present was before I opened it. Every year.

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Find Your Power Organizational Culture

By: Ivy Kaminsky

Not like any other

One of the things I was extremely excited about when creating this organization is building the culture. I’ve worked at so many different types and sizes of organizations, some great to work at, and some not so great. I wanted Find Your Power to be unlike any other place I’ve ever worked. It is really important to me that people enjoy working with each other, enjoy coming to work, and find ways to be fulfilled by their work and their individual contributions.

People-centered

I believe the culture of Find Your Power is hugely important and it starts with me (Ivy), because the leader is the soul of an organization. When the culture erodes, that means connections aren’t happening. So it is my job to try to stay connected with my staff and to keep them all connected. In my opinion conversation = connection. That is why it’s important that we see each other and meet in person as often as possible, even when working remotely. We are, first and foremost, a people centered culture. That begins with us and goes all the way to the individual women we serve. How we treat each other (and the women we aim to serve) is very important. So is valuing what each person brings to the table. And having fun and not taking anything too seriously, because happy people do good work! My aim is to create a place where people want to be. A place where you can be yourself, learn and grow, and find a sense of purpose in your day-to-day work.

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