Every year, on August 26, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. As a woman- and minority-owned business, iQ 360 recognizes the continuing efforts to achieve full gender equality around the world as well as here at home.
To highlight the importance of women in leadership positions, we spoke with leaders in our networks about the women who inspired and supported them throughout their careers.
Shari W. Chang
Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Hawaii
“Helene Stolba was a pioneer among women. She was also my grandmother. Although she was not well known outside of the Southwest, her newspaper column Homespun Hannah ran for over 25 years. She taught me from a young age to explore, encouraging me to research museums and interview people during every family vacation we took. She always told me, ‘Don’t let anyone hold you back. It’s okay to reach for the stars, and it’s okay if it doesn’t happen overnight.’
It didn’t dawn on me until years later how forward-thinking she was and how inspirational her words would be to me in mentoring young women today.”
Vice President, Cyber Security Services and Managed Services Delivery, Pacxa
“I’m always inspired by women who step out of the common ‘comfort zone’ and challenge the status quo. Those who are in the top of typically male-dominated fields. Those who are sole providers and take care of their families. Allowing them to show their children how to maintain work-life balance. Being raised by a single mother provided me the knowledge that I can do anything I set my mind to. She showed me how to balance family and career, and inspired me to reach my goals, including breaking into a typically male-dominated field when it wasn’t the norm for women to work in IT.”
Photo credit: Nani Welch Keliihoomalu
Anne Sunderland, MPH
Senior Communications Officer, Improving Access, California Health Care Foundation
“Right now, I’m really inspired by physicians who are on the front lines of providing abortion care to women. These providers keep doing this work, even though it sometimes poses risks to their own safety. I recently met Dr. Christine Henneberg, a physician who specializes in women’s health and family planning. In her Northern California medical practice, Dr. Henneberg spends most of her clinical time performing abortions for a diverse group of patients. She is an incredible advocate for women and I admire her dedication to advancing health equity in her community.”
Chief Operating Officer, The Asian American Foundation
“My mom, Kay Iwata, has been a source of inspiration throughout my life. She has been a role model for advocating for those who don’t have a seat at the table, facilitating meaningful, transformative conversations and providing unwavering support as a mother and friend.”
For our previous Women’s Equality Day blog, which highlighted woman leaders in our industry, please click here.