Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself” 

                                                                                                                                         Gloria Steinem

As I prepare to speak at the Business and Professional Women’s Conference (www.bpwstpetepinellas.org) this week, I am reminded of our focus: Equity Rising. Over 40 community leaders will avail themselves to build up women personally, professionally and politically so women can continue to find their voice in today’s movements of #metoo and #timesup, focus on self-care and bridge the gender and investment gap in this evolving workplace. Our hope is to harness the power of the collective to move the needle towards greater equity to all.

This focus not only requires women to be vulnerable and share experiences that will propel us forward, it requires us to also “get in the ring” to be a catalyst for change. This is sometimes easier said than done as the ring is not everyone’s cup of tea. I recall Gloria Steinem, Rose McGowan, women of the USA Soccer Team, and Jacinda Ardern who brought attention important equalities in which women are deserving but at the same time not well-received by the masses and their personal plight put up for public opinion. So how can we honor those who chose to be the change agents and whose shoulders we stand on as we find our own path?

As I shared in a recent article, Four Tips to Achieving Success Without Waiting Your Turn, featured in Business Management Daily and in my book Jumping the Queue, there are four things every woman can do as they rise and increase equity for themselves:

1.      Find a mentor

2.      Believe in Yourself

3.      Ignore the Naysayers

4.      Make health a priority

So, I ask you how will you empower yourself this week, this month and this year? When you do, will you choose to empower others? For today, I hope you can join the conversation by attending the conference or sharing your thoughts with me at jumpingthequeue.org

Michelle A. Turman, author of Jumping the Queue: Achieving Great Things Before You’re Ready (www.jumpingtheq.org), is the president of Catalyst Consulting Services (www.catalyst.org) whose mission is to facilitate positive change in the areas of executive searches, organizational management, and fundraising. With more than 23 years of nonprofit experience, Turman has been responsible for increasing the impact and best practices of nonprofit organizations she serves and has raised over $60 million through her professional and personal philanthropic efforts.