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Year of the Woman 2.0

// November 7, 2018

Every Year Should be the Year of the Woman

The 1992 presidential election was 26 years ago this month. Even though it was an election that determined the leader of our country, we can find similarities to yesterday’s midterm election. A controversial Supreme Court confirmation hearing. An increase in the number of women running for elected office. A demand for women’s representation in the places of highest power in our country and in our communities. Just like 1992, some are proclaiming 2018 the new “Year of the Woman.”

A year of barrier-breaking moments

Once again, we have witnessed barrier-breaking moments for under-represented populations. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the first woman to give birth while serving in the U.S. Senate, led the charge to change the rule to allow newborns on the floor of the Senate. Hundreds of women took courageous risks to share their #metoo stories and empower others to share theirs. Across the world, New Zealand’s Prime Minster, Jacinda Ardern, became the second sitting head of government to give birth while in office. In the lead up to Nov. 6, historic numbers of women ran for office at all levels of government and cast their ballots.

Additionally, Colorado will have the first openly gay governor in our country’s history, Jared Polis, and the first black member of our congressional delegation, Joe Neguse. Throughout the country over 100 women were elected to Congress including the first two Muslim and Native American women. There is no question that this election has brought voices to the table that have been missing for too long and that are essential to a more inclusive society.

From the boardroom to the judge’s bench to the U.S. Capitol

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, in spite of these incredible displays of fortitude, I feel like we are taking two steps forward and one step back. Even though Colorado boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the country, over 260,000 Colorado women live in poverty. The cost of quality child care continues to climb while the pay gap between women of color and white men (the highest earners) worsens. These are just a few of the reasons that we need more diverse women in leadership – from the boardroom to the judge’s bench to the U.S. Capitol. When women are in leadership roles, there is more collaboration, consensus-building, and decision making that benefits not just women, but everyone.

Year of the Woman 2.0

In the Year of the Woman 2.0, the headlines call out how women are showing up in big ways. But haven’t we always shown up? For our families, our jobs, our communities? In Colorado, nearly 201,000 family households are headed by women. Women are increasingly represented in historically male-dominated fields like medicine and tech, yet rarely hold the highest leadership positions. Colorado’s state legislature features one of the highest percentages of women in the country, but our state has never elected a female governor or U.S. senator.

As women continue to use their voices and actions to better their communities, we all need to show up for women of all backgrounds and identities, who face varying barriers in the pipeline to leadership, to create a future where every woman thrives. Join WFCO as we support the infrastructure that will make sure every year is the year of the woman.

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