IEEE WIE Virtual Panel: Empowerment

What a morning to be able to talk about empowering girls and women to be their best possible selves? I was delighted to be a part of the virtual panel with Jennifer Tacheff of Women Who Code moderated by Julie Gordon White where we talked about empowering women and girls. I left truly inspired and ready to conquer the world.

If you want to watch, here’s the link.

The first question Julie threw at us was for us to define ‘empowerment.’ For me, I feel empowered when I have opportunities and I am able to make my own decisions without limits, either internal or external limits. It means I have control over my destiny.

One of my biggest takeaways from the conversation is something Jenn said in terms of the importance of community and support. It is so important for us to NOT feel isolated and alone and as if we are the only ones experiencing what we are experiencing. This means that we need to support each other, be mentors, and reach out when we need help. This means saying ‘yes’ to women without calculating the impact on your reputation or political capital.

Jenn brought up the importance of living an authentic life which, to me, means embracing who you are and being “unapologetically” you. This is something I continue to work on as it can be difficult to embrace all of you…warts and all. Always remember that we all have something special that we bring to the world and we need to to own it!

Julie emphasized that money leads to choices and choices lead to freedom, all of which is so important for women. We need to be able to talk about money and recognize that we deserve so much more than what we tend to ask and/or settle for. It may be uncomfortable initially, but we need to get over that discomfort and ask, and in some cases demand, what we are worth. This also means we must acknowledge our value and our worth. Another tricky one for women.

Richard Branson encourages us to not shrink; that we do not serve the world if we play small. This means that we need to embrace being the bad-asses that we are and acknowledge our accomplishments and use those accomplishments to remind ourselves of what we have been able to successfully achieve. Failures are learning opportunities and should not dissuade us from achieving greatness.

This means we must be fearless; and if we can’t be fearless, we must be courageous.

So what do you do to feel empowered to live your life authentically and to live your life to the fullest? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Check out my new podcast, Piloting Your Life.