Empowered Women Change Lives

This is Rosalba. I was moved by her story of trust and triumph. Her story begins like many poverty-stricken people in Guatemala, a story, for many, that stays in an endless loop. Crowded wretched shacks shifting on the hillside, unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation, and rampant uncertainty.

Then one day, the Women Empowered (WE) initiative formed a group in Rosalba’s village, and that changed her fate. Yet, Rosalba would have her own fears to conquer. First, she would have to garner up Herculean courage and strength to begin to trust others, in order to create a path to turn her obstacles into opportunities.

While most of you reading this are not living in such ghastly conditions, I would bet that at one time or another, you encountered barriers associated with advancing to the next level of your career, or higher education, not landing that job because of your gender or the color of your skin, or something else. Maybe you needed a little boost to get you motivated – a mentor. It’s that first step of asking for help that makes all the difference.

This week at my company, three very high-ranking women in the tech industry came to speak about their own hurtles across their careers – two from Cisco, and a third from Bank of the West.  Each shared their own story of triumph.

The outcome of one of the stories was a mentoring initiative, the Multiplier Effect that one of the women, Yvette, a Cisco SVP, birthed in the hopes of addressing the many women who were leaving the tech industry.  Yvette attributes her own career success to her many mentors, and to the people who believed in her. This gift of guidance she wants to share as a way to work the inclusion angle, not just for women, but any person of diversity.

It’s women like Yvette and the two other women who shared the afternoon with us  (Rebecca, Cisco SVP; and Linda, Bank of the West, SVP) who empower us to live to a higher potential, and women like Rosalba, who give us courage. Each of these women took their predicament and flipped it to seek a better outcome.

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