This past week I had the pleasure of celebrating International Women's Day with Zonta International. Zonta is a women run non-profit that is the leading global organization of female professionals that empower women with service and advocacy. Their hope is to help create a world where women's rights are human rights, including access to resources and representation, as well as a world where women do not fear violence.
This International Women's Day Zonta had a event at Hotel Viata that held a panel with five successful women in art, business, and government. The five included Mayor of Seguin Donna Dodge, Judge Sylvia Holmes, Cindy Lo, Erica Lopex, and Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson. The five delved into their life experiences as powerful women, and gave sound advice on how to handle misogyny and self-doubt in business settings. They discussed inclusion, work-life balance, and their fights with imposter syndrome. This event also gave out scholarships to women, and uplifted girls in high school as well as college.
I found the Q&A powerful in its vulnerability. The questions ranged from, "What would you tell your younger self," to, "Have you ever felt like you couldn't achieve your goals". The answers surprised me, most of the women reported that they always had felt capable and like nothing could genuinely stop their path to success. Poet Laureate Andrea Vocab Sanderson, gave an answer that would have been similar to mine, saying that there were moments of imposter syndrome that she dealt with. Later at the event Vocab sang us her upcoming single, El Camino. She also read us a poem in relation to the last question of the panel, "how do you rest?" Her poem moved the room to tears as the women closed with event manager, Susan Slavin-Greenberg leading us in a spiritual prayer.
The Zonta International Group has been around for almost a century, and is nowhere near done in their fight for a world without violence against women. To get involved, visit their website to find local events near you. We hope this IWD we can focus on creating a better future for young girls internationally.