“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison, American Novelist and Professor
What’s your story? Is it already written? Will you author the next chapter in your life? Will you have the courage to get someone on the same page? Who plays a role in your personal and professional development?
In March we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day; we recognize women with bold and beautiful stories already written for the books and many still in production. We celebrate women who have crossed boundaries, broke through ceilings, took risks, accomplished many “firsts” and made headlines all over the world. I’m happy to give special acknowledgement during the month of March but also proud to celebrate the strength, power, impact and essence of a woman which is a gift to celebrate every day.
My role as a woman of color, mother, daughter, sister, niece, friend and wife are the thesis and climax of Orlena’s story and there’s so much more to be written. These critical roles define and shape me. They give me strength, resilience, patience and insight. They make me a better leader, a better listener, a harder worker and a rock-star HR leader and professional. I am fortunate enough to have diverse, wise and accomplished female colleagues, mentors and coaches in my circle: some of whom sit on the HRACC’s Board of Directors. They all inspire and motivate me in various ways. With their support, I pay it forward while coaching and mentoring others; that’s the real reward.
Our mostly female board is an extension of family for whom I have relied upon for guidance, expertise and innovation. From a diversity and inclusion perspective, HRACC strives to be more conscious about increasing male chapter members and volunteers with 84% of our members being female. Even with these efforts, the universal data remains constant across all industries. There is a known and historical gender shift in HR and women take the lead. Seventy-three percent (73%) of HR practitioners at the manager level are female, according to 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Being in a female-dominated profession there is much to be said and understood, about the importance of women’s history, rights and elevated opportunities.
Join HRACC in partnership with SMA on March 27th for our next program where we continue the discussion on “Elevating Women in Leadership”, with Cynthia Kelly of Lee Hecht Harrison. Cynthia has over 15 years of experience as both an internal and external consultant with deep knowledge in the areas of strategic talent management, leadership, and business transformation. She’ll help us, men and women, crack the formula for organizations to make real progress on elevating women in the leadership pipeline. I look forward to seeing you at this program and others to come!!
Orlena Cowan-Bailey, SPHR, SHRM-SCP