BPA employees share perspectives on women’s equality, on anniversary of 19th Amendment.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day, BPA’s Women’s Resource Group asked other employee resource group leaders, members and employees to share their thoughts on what Women’s Equality Day means to them.
Women's equality signifies to me that in any space there is a level of respect for everyone in the room, regardless of what they may look like or their experiences. When women have a voice in a discussion via a question or comment, it helps provide another perspective to the dialogue. As a woman of color in engineering, I am learning to say my two cents during meetings while also looking at the women around me and trying to figure out how they find their voices. I've known from the very first day I decided to be an engineer that I would be one of the few women in the room, especially a woman of color. During my senior year, I learned to appreciate the people who do make space for those who wouldn’t otherwise speak up, while also learning that I need to overcome my fear of talking because we are all learning, and it is OK to ask questions.
Mary Bodine-Watts - Attorney-Adviser
Women’s equality means our contributions are valued, encouraged and compensated fairly. It means our diversity of thoughts and opinions are given equal consideration, and that our efforts and decisions are acknowledged and respected. Women’s equality means that we have equal access to education and advancement opportunities. Above all, women’s equality means we are empowered to do our best work and be our authentic selves.
Leanne Davis - Records and Information Management Specialist, Information Governance
I believe equality is sharing. Sharing responsibilities as well as rewards brings us together. When women and men share equally, it provides opportunities to unite and accomplish amazing things. For me, the celebration of women’s equality allows me to reflect on our past and hope for our future.
Farah Mohamoud - Public Utilities Specialist, Transmission Account Services
Women’s equality means not just celebrating but championing women’s voices and their diverse perspectives. Women’s equality will truly be realized when we recognize how race and class shape our lived experiences and perspectives and we are able to find a way to unite around our differences.
Michelle Cathcart - Vice President, Transmission System Operations
Women’s equality means creating a world where my daughter can be her authentic self and have a sense of belonging no matter what she decides to do. I have experienced more equality than my mom did, and want her granddaughter to be able to say the same.
Mike Miller – Vice President, Engineering and Technical Services
It means that my mother, sisters, wife and daughter are all appreciated for the amazing women they are, and their pasts, presents and futures help guide the world to a place of peace, health and love.
Jessica Shea - Operations Research Analyst, Enterprise Risk Management
My perspective on women’s equality is that the unique and distinctive voices that women have work best when used to lift others up. In short: Women’s equality is no good without equality for everyone. And women have a knack for highlighting the challenges that others face, too.
Melissa Peterson - Contract Specialist, Corporate and Infrastructure
Equality to me means that the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women are considered, valued and favored equally. To me, it does not mean women and men are the same, but each have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities to develop their own potential. Women’s Equality Day is a time to celebrate women in all stages of their lives and careers. I am fortunate enough to have been raised by strong, independent women who provided me the opportunities, courage and strength to stand up for what I believed in, not take myself too seriously and to support all others on their journeys.
John Lahti - Vice President, Transmission Field Services
I think about my wife and daughter when it comes to women's equality and what every woman deserves. I seek environments where women can feel safe to be an individual. I want women to have the same opportunities and to be treated with fairness, feel valued and be respected. I hope my wife and daughter can live in a world where their dreams and ambitions aren't limited by gender.
Greg Eisenach - Supply Systems Analyst, Tech and Strategic Planning
Women’s equality, to me, means equal inclusive treatment with honor, respect and human dignity in all interactions – women interacting with men and as well women interacting with other women. It means equal opportunity for education, vocations, career development and retention, and religious, community and civic service or leadership. It means work-life balance consideration that is not one-size fits all but rather tailored to individual circumstances and needs with full awareness of and access to supporting services and resources.
Anthony Reiter - Physical Security Specialist
I have considered myself an advocate and ally of women’s equality for most of my life. Having had the privilege of both working and serving in the military and law enforcement subordinately and as a leader, I can affirm that women are as equal in scope and capacity as males. Some of my most effective commanding officers were female as were many of the outstanding Marines I was fortunate enough to lead. I take pride in knowing I was involved in the study and process that would lead to approving female Marines for combat occupational specialty roles. My experiences working for BPA have not only affirmed my perspective but have expanded it further. As a father of three daughters and the husband of a federal professional who is a manager, I am grateful for the advancements made and for the prospects for their respective futures in working in an equally beneficial environment.
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