As featured in Emerging Manager Monthly, below is a personal reflection written by Noble Ark Ventures CEO, Sandra Powers Murphy, in honor of Women's History Month.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared by way of Presidential Proclamation that the week of March 8th would be designated Women’s History week. In a speech to the nation, President Carter asked his fellow Americans to recognize that “women’s history is women’s right– an essential, indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort and courage”. Six years after President Carter’s address, Congress officially declared that March of each year would be honored as Women’s History Month.
As we enter March 2022, I find myself reflecting upon a recent conversation with a male colleague whom I think highly of and that I know truly respects and appreciates women in the workplace (and beyond!) As we discussed time management, he noted that “we all have the same 24 hours in a day.” My brain immediately winced. While this might technically be true, for those of us women who are trying to have it all – motherhood, family caregiving, health and wellness, AND a career in which we seek to ‘make history’, there never seems to be enough time. So, while yes… we all technically have 24 hours, I am confident that mine look much different than his.
"I am a mother to six children, ages ten to twenty-two (two of them I adopted after their biological mother passed away far too early). This is one full-time job that I constantly find myself failing at, although my kids assure me otherwise."
I am also a caregiver to my aging parents, a friend and confidant to my siblings, an Aunt to a whole bunch of awesome Nieces and Nephews…the list goes on. In these two categories– parenting and caregiving– women often take on a different set of roles and responsibilities, and these differences should be acknowledged and celebrated. Indeed, we are often whether by design or chemistry wired to be caregivers. Some might want to argue this point, but I believe it is one that makes ‘making history’ all the more difficult for women, on top of the realities of systemic gender discrimination that remains ever present both at home and abroad.
Yet, like most women I know, I would trade absolutely nothing about my path and the unique opportunity I have to be a part of so many lives through both my personal journey as a mother, as well as a woman in business. It is because of the powerful, courageous women that came before me that this is possible; that we as women can do so much and truly be anything and everything we want. Part of celebrating women for me is celebrating all women, regardless of who they are, where they live, or what path they have chosen. As we honor women in history this month, I’d like to share a list of ten extraordinary women that have helped change our world for the better in many unique ways.
10 Extraordinary Women To Know:
Jane Addams: Social Change Advocate and founder of Hull-House and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;
Maya Angelou: Poet, Memoirist, Singer and Civil Rights Activist;
Jane Austin: Author whose identity was hidden on her most popular works until her death;
Claudette Colvin: Teen Civil Rights Activist and one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle;
Marie Curie: Winner of two Noble Prizes, one for Physics and another for Chemistry;
Amelia Earhart: First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic;
Althea Gibson: First African American woman to play at Wimbledon;
Ada Lovelace: The world’s first computer programmer;
Sylvia Rae Rivera: LGBTQ Activist, Civil Rights Activist and Founder of the Gay Liberation Front;
Sojourner Truth: Escaped slavery to freedom with her infant daughter and later delivered the historic “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech.
As a woman working in professional services, I am always eager to connect with other women in business that may share some of the same struggles, hopes and aspirations. Here are a series of resources that I have found indispensable in supporting women as we all seek to make history in our own way. If you have organizations you would like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are links to incredible resources for women that I urge you to take advantage of: