Be the Kind of Woman Who, When Your Feet Hit the Floor Each Morning, the Devil Says “Oh Crap, She’s Up”- Joanne Clancy.
We strive to be THAT kind of woman…EVERY DAY! The women who invoke the same kind of response from the Devil and, well, from the world. March 8th is International Women’s Day and there’s no better day to focus on the successes of women socially, economically, culturally and politically. And no better day to focus on bold women.
International Women’s Day Then and Now
International Women’s Day isn’t a new concept. The first women’s day was held in 1909 when 15,000 women marched in New York demanding better wages, shorter working hours and voting rights. As women, we’ve had to fight for our rights on many levels throughout history…and we’re still fighting.
The focus of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. Being bold for some means talking a political stance, for others it means following a personal goal. And while many famous women lead bold initiatives before a global audience, there are plenty of every day women doing extraordinarily bold things.
Bold Women in the Auto Industry Who Are Changing It From The Inside
Traditionally male-dominated industries are the toughest place for women to break in and build a career. So it’s the women in automotive who really inspire us. So much so that we regularly share their stories in our What Drives Her series. From Nicole Longhini who merged her love of art with her love of working alongside her dad on his cars in the driveway and her Italian-American heritage to rise in the ranks at Fiat, to Australian born Kate Fabian who grew up in a culture filled with dominant men but learned to be bold and speak up for herself at an early age, rising to lead marketing for the newly formed luxury brand, Genesis.
Elena Ford boldly went where her mother and aunts did not, taking a role in the family business and now guides all customer experiences. And Kelly Webb Roberts boldly took over the family automotive business right before the Great Recession in 2006. She fought hard to bring the company through troubled times and has led it to even greater success.
Dorothy Glinton, an African-American woman and a single mom, spent years at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant training others –men–only to see them promoted over her. She joined a group of women who worked at the plant in a class action suit against Ford for sex and race discrimination. The case ultimately both changed how the auto industry deals with these issues and led Dorothy to a management position with the company. I think we’d all agree Dorothy knows how to #BeBoldForChange.
You can read all our What Drives Her profiles here.
Bold Pioneering Woman Are Changing Economies Around the Globe, Too: Meet Isabel Uriarte
One of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met is Isabel Uriarte. Raised on a coffee farm in the rolling hills of Northeastern Peru, Isabel grew up very much aware of the difficult lives women from her region endured—domestic violence being one of the most difficult. Isabel’s family left the coffee farm and relocated to the city to insure she received an education—a move that ultimately made a difference in the lives of countless women. Isabel returned to her coffee farm roots after college. Her bold pioneering efforts resulted in the formation of Café Femenino – a female coffee growing group within the CECANOR cooperative supported by Fair Trade.
Fair Trade standards required women to participate in all levels of the cooperative. As a result, the men were required to deed over a portion of their farmland to their wives. The women farmed the land and kept the money they received from their crops. Owning the land and retaining the profits from the crops gave the women the financial incentive to work even harder. With the women in charge of the finances for their portion of the land, profits began to go to betterment of the families. As a result, girls are now getting an education along with boys. Women are no longer treated as objects…which has significantly decreased the problem of domestic violence.
And while I can’t do what Isabel did, I can offer a little assistance by purchasing Fair Trade certified products from around the world. So can you!
A Girls Guide to Cars began with the mission to #BeBoldForChange
Our founders, Scotty Reiss and Kim Orlando (top left photo), founder of the TravelingMom network, started the business in order to drive change. Knowing that women buy or influence 85% of all car purchases, yet there were very few media outlets dedicated to women in the market for a car –and exactly zero legacy publications. It was clear: This is an audience that needs to be served and a voice that needs to be heard. AGirlsGuidetoCars was born with the mission to empower women to be smarter, happier car owners by changing the car conversation to the one that women have about cars.
Taking that first bold step was four years ago and we are proud to continue to lead the media charge, continuing to build a successful network of women who are engaged, smart and enriched about cars and the life they live in them.
How Will You #BeBoldForChange?
We all have passions: our families, animals, careers, politics…the list goes on and on. Following those passions requires a level of boldness. As you celebrate International Women’s Day, consider what you can do to effect positive change in the world. What you can do to follow your passions or help someone else follow hers? Ladies, let’s #BeBoldForChange together. And by all means, please celebrate your bold brave self today and everyday!