What started out as a small-town school event in Sonoma, California to raise consciousness to achieve equity goals in the classroom has since blossomed into a celebration of women throughout history. A celebration of women who have made contributions to society, politics, culture, and women’s rights. In March, to honor Women’s History Month, Broadminded is featuring extraordinary women who have broken ground with their ongoing achievements and contributions.
The theme for this year’s History Month is “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment”. Since 1981, women have become 50 percent of college graduates in the United States and women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide. They have slowly and steadily earned their way into “male-dominated” fields and have moved up the corporate ladder. Girls now have women like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, and Arianna Huffington as role models. Because nobody ever told them “you can’t” simply because they were a girl, or perhaps it was because someone did say “no” to them and they had the drive to prove them wrong, these amazing women all started from the bottom and created their own highly rewarding careers. There may still be a glass ceiling, but we’re finally starting to not just break through it, but shatter it!
It’s because of the trailblazing determination of Oprah Winfrey that I was even able to pitch Broadminded to XM Radio back in 2005. If it weren’t for Oprah paving the way for me, there would never have been an interest for a radio show created by and hosted by women, for women. Being a single mother to a nine-year old son, I’d like to think I’m a role model for him by demonstrating that a woman can be independent and create her own career.
I think it’s important for successful women to share their knowledge and experiences with young girls; it’s essential for them to realize they can be, and should be, whatever they choose to be, whether that’s a wife and mother, the CEO of a global company or even the President of the United States. There are no boundaries. Randy Pausch had a wonderful quote from “The Last Lecture”; he said, “The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” Regardless of the brick walls, with determination and dedication there are no limits to what one can achieve.
Throughout history, women have been held back and not allowed to get an education. It was believed that women were either incapable of intellectual development equal to men, or that they would be harmed by striving for it. With this year’s theme for Women’s History Month, it’s important to honor those women who struggled for education equality and an equal opportunity for everyone to learn.
I’m very fortunate to have such an incredible job which allows me the opportunity to speak with so many people from all walks of life. We discuss a wide range of topics on our show, but the conversations we have with extraordinary women who have risen above adversity have truly been some of my favorite moments. I love when we hear from a listener who has been empowered due to a guest we’ve had on or a topic we’ve discussed, and now realizes that she, too, can do and be whatever she wants. I can only hope that in some way, through Broadminded, I’ve been able to open doors and am paving the way for the next generation of empowered women.
“Knowledge itself is power.”