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Fearless Females

The Women's Suffrage Movement was one that started in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York led by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady, and other women's rights advocates. These heroes were the beginning of a long, hard-fought battle to demand our government to allow women equal rights.

This grassroots movement is the beginning of why today's modern-day female is taking the world by storm. We are living in a time when women are successfully rising to positions of leadership and power. They are doing so with independence and strength equal to their male counterparts.

This movement is allowing business to strike a beautiful balance.

Aging has taken a paradigm shift of its own. How many of us have listened to our parents groan about the reality of receiving that AARP mail? Or maybe you've arrived at your over-the-hill moment already. For many 50+ people, no longer are the days of 30 years with one company to finish life with a generous retirement package and endless days of golfing, shopping, and grand-child spoiling. Many people 50+ are claiming this to be their golden age of living, continuing to be active more than ever.

Barbara Shipley is the Senior Vice President of brand integration for AARP. In a genius re-branding move, Shipley decided to capitalize on this new approach to retirement with the "Real Possibilities" campaign, changing the ‘RP’ of the acronym from Retired Persons to Real Possibilities. The campaign shifted AARP's positioning, allowing people to feel empowered to choose their lifestyle during their golden age. People often resist being pigeon-holed and Barbara understood this. In addition to their traditional offerings, they launched new services that included Caregiving, Staying Sharp, Reimagining Life, Working, and Going Mobile resources. It is because of AARP's bold move and Barbara's fearless leadership, that this non-profit is still relevant today from its inception in 1947.

Organic growth is usually an indicator of a great organization that was meant to be in existence. She's The First is an inspiring example of this. Tammy Tibbetts was motivated to help young women with limited financial means, gain the education they deserve. Tammy launched She's The First campaign where she utilized her vast network to fundraise for organizations that already were on this mission. Her crowdsourcing efforts transformed into a million-dollar nonprofit organization, now with 200 campus chapters and 12 international partners. Her work has even inspired the women beneficiaries to pay it forward. They share and spread the word within their communities the importance of education for women. Tammy says, “This is what excites me about the future: to see these students who have been trained so well on how to be global citizens and activists and what they will be capable of as they rise to power as leaders."

Dress For Success is another wonderful nonprofit that was founded by a forward-thinking woman. Nancy Lublin was gifted $5,000 from her grandfather. With the help of two nuns, she founded Dress For Success (DFS) from the humble beginnings of a basement church in Spanish Harlem. DFS helps women in need prepare for job interviews by providing them top-of-the-line suits along with interview and leadership training. They partner with homeless shelters, immigration services, job training programs, educational institutions, and domestic violence shelters, among many others. The organization is proud to have served over one million women in over 150 cities around the world. Nancy says, "It’s an institution that’s bigger than any of its individuals, it’s a thing, it’s a movement of its own."

Female leaders’ have been claiming their stake in the nonprofit world, changing the industry for the better. They’re using their innovative ideas to push the envelope, making their leadership stand out among the crowd. This Women's History Month, be sure to recognize the women at your workplace who are blazing their professional trail with confidence and poise.

Who knows? The next fearless woman leader could be working right next to you. It only takes one spark to set an entire movement on fire.


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