Best of International Women’s Day: Be a Front Porch Lady

by Guest on March 11th, 2011
in Know Your History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How did you recognize the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day March 8? If you haven’t yet signed the “Million for a Billion” petition to tell Congress you want them to fund international family planning and save the lives of so many women and children around the world, please do so here. This is one meaningful way to honor the women who founded IWD to promote equality for women, including the right to vote and hold public office. Another is to reach out to help another woman. Today’s guest post from Kathy Korman Frey, entrepreneur in residence at George Washington University School of Business and founder of The Hot Mommas Project tells just such a story. Read on, and keep reading for a roundup of some of the best of IWD posts:

A dignified, beautiful, African-American woman stood at the podium during the Wake Forest Women’s Weekend. All eyes were on Esther Silver-Parker, one of the most senior former executives at Wal-Mart and now president of the Silver-Parker Group. Would she talk about women’s advancement to the C-suite? Would she share her secrets to success? That, she did. And one of them was not at all what we expected.

Silver-Parker grew up in rural North Carolina, in a two-bedroom house, with her parents and many siblings. She recounted a screenplay-like story about a group of women she called: The Front Porch Ladies. “The Front Porch Ladies were the women who sat on their front porches as we came home from school,” Silver-Parker said. “They would treat our business like it was their business.”

When Silver-Parker was accepted to college, imagine her surprise when the Front Porch Ladies showed up on her front porch. There they all stood, having brought with them a full set of blue luggage for her to take off to school. “From time to time at college, I would get letters from the Front Porch Ladies,” Silver-Parker told the audience. “They would write words of encouragement, and sometimes include a dollar or two.”

A group of women, probably over-looked and taken for granted, played a pivotal and memorable role in a young woman’s life. And, there, now, with her silver hair and power suit, Silver-Parker remembered the Front Porch Ladies.

Will YOU take it upon yourself to get involved in the life of a woman you know, to help aggressively and actively?

Are we evolving, as a society of women, to do what it take to be successful? Here, today, is our chance.

The below graph indicates a fascinating pattern: Search trends for “International Women’s Day” have been on the decline…until, that is, THIS YEAR. Is there something in the air? Will you be part of it?

Be a Front Porch Lady.

Be part of the New Sisterhood. Stand on YOUR front porch, and call out. Get involved in the life of another woman. The time for pleasantries and being polite is over. The time for KNOWING that we can and will help one another is here.

IWD posts splashed out from every corner of the web on March 8. Many on Twitter argued that women should celebrate women every day of the year, not just during the month of March. I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment – which should be pretty clear for those who have read my book No Excuses. I am passionate about encouraging women to embrace their “power to” – power to change their lives, power to change the world, power to make a difference. Here’s a completely arbitrary list of some of the best posts from International Women’s Day worth a read any day:

Top 10 Wins for Women – Global Women’s Fund
Meet 10 Women Who Have Changed Canadian Politics – Vancouver Sun
Busting the Top 10 Myths About Women – AAUW Blog (are you starting to sense a trend with the Top 10 Lists? ;^) )

Liz O’Donnell wrote about why it’s important for women to have equality in the STEM–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields–on her Hello Ladies blog.

The Guardian provides a list of the Top 100 Women of Science.

From Susan Macaulay at Amazing Women Rock, a truly amazing overview of TED’s lack of gender parity and why it continues even though there are some, well, amazing, women speakers.

If you need more inspiration, produced a smashing list of activist opportunities that channel the spirit of IWD:

Finally, a big thank you UN Women for producing this video celebrating the global achievements of women over the last 100 years.

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3 Responses to Best of International Women’s Day: Be a Front Porch Lady

  1. Pingback: 9 Ways You Can Find No Excuses in Your Neighborhood | GLORIA FELDT

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