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Phenomenal Women in Solano County

During March, we’re recognizing Women’s History Month by honoring women of different cultures, ethnicities, economic and educational backgrounds, all achieving great things in their communities. And while many of these women may never grace the cover of “Vogue,” “Time,” or “Essence” magazines, they are doing impressive work, and many of them have beaten the odds themselves.

Hello, I’m Johnicon George Sr., owner of Icon Connects, LLC. Welcome to the Real Social Change Blog.

The Women’s history theme for 2023 is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

The theme honors women who have devoted their lives and talents to telling stories as authors, songwriters, playwrights, performers, media content creators, teachers, artists, faith leaders, and even as our witty and beautiful grandmothers.

In Solano County representing the media, we have women such as “The Reporter” Opinion Columnist Danette Mitchell, “The Reporter” Assistant Editor and News Editor Kimberly Fu, and the “Daily Republic” News Reporter Susan Hiland.

“Benicia Magazine” Publisher Mary Hand and “Vacaville Magazine” Publisher Lauren Runow ensure their publications highlight local events and human interest stories, helping to create a bond among neighbors.

And because local history matters, and other treasured stories, we have Vallejo Historians Sharon McGriff and Anna Bergman. When it comes to the arts, Poet Laureates Dr. Genea Brice and Suzanne Bruce use the rhythmic and mastery use of the language, creating adrenaline-charged visual images in our minds.

We have local women who are teachers, authors, filmmakers, and quilters who blend colors, patterns, and words into quilts, telling the story of 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

The list goes on of extraordinary women in Solano County whose dedication and commitment to their crafts provide a voice to the voiceless, entertain us, educate us, and keep us informed of critical issues in our communities.

A poet once wrote, “God said, give these women a lane, a freeway, and a voice to rev the engine of a magic that only women can create. These hands, Dear God, today are what we praise. Celebrate, celebrate… Amen!”

Women, while not flawless, are like fine china and should never be abused or mistreated by others. As such, we must continue our efforts regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that all women succeed in their chosen professions and are treated as valued employees.

JLL, a real estate and investment management firm, recently wrote in “Why hiring more women won’t make the workplace fairer,” that we still have a long way to go regarding equal pay for equal work, upward mobility, and support for mothers.

In the U.S. alone, says JLL, working women received only $80 for every $100 a man earned. When it comes to U.S. Fortune 500 CEOs, 85 percent of them are men. And the number of moms in management-level positions dropped or ended up in lower-paid roles.

A woman’s age, race, and class influence career opportunities.

In a 2022 article, “Do DEI Initiatives Help Black Women at Work,” LaNeisha Gunn, diversity recruitment and partnerships manager at Novi-based HARMAN International (headquartered in Stamford, Conn.), told the “Michigan Chronicle” that “DEI efforts across the board have upheld important elements of inclusivity, but it still needs to be enhanced.”

She said the glass ceiling is a “little thicker” for some Black women who aspire to move from sole contributor to executive leadership.

Also quoted in the article was Minda Harts, founder and CEO of The Memo LLC. She said, “It’s not enough for companies to have diversity initiatives for women when holistically most of those initiatives skew toward helping one group of women who tend to be White.”

The article noted that Black women still face being invisible in the workplace and managing microaggressions and bias. They were often denied employment and educational opportunities because of hairstyles like braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots, resulting in the Crown Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair).

The good news is that many companies are committing to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. They understand it makes good business sense to value all employees’ skills and ideas - and their unique selves - regardless of gender identity.

DEI progress could be faster. However, we, including men, must remain in the fight for our women.

The Real Social Change Blog is a community blog. Please feel free to submit DEI topics you want to see discussed. If your suggested topic is selected, you can choose an Icon Connects SWAG bag or a $50 value MARY KAY gift basket!

You can also post your comments, discussions, and suggestions on the blog. Please do not post private information. And remember to be courteous, as I will quickly remove offensive, disrespectful, or irrelevant ones.

Take a moment to view previous blogs, browse the Icon Connects, LLC website, and subscribe!

See you next month!

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