Friday, October 16, 2015
Maya's Blog #1
It's only been one month since I received news of my acceptance into the WomenNC CSW Fellowship program, but so much has already happened. We have engaged in two different workshops, both of which have only served to excite me even more about this opportunity. Being surrounded by this amazing community of people all passionate about women's human rights and gender equality is incredibly motivating.
My application essay for the fellowship addressed my interest in gender inequality within leadership roles, and this is the subject I hope to continue researching over the course of the fellowship. Currently, I am trying to determine whether I should take this topic down the route of leadership in business or politics. I am very thankful for the guidance of the mentors and their willingness to connect us with people across the Triangle who are knowledgeable about our research interests. I think this topic is fascinating for so many reasons. First of all, the pipeline: how do women receive support and encouragement early on to reach for these leadership aspirations? How can we change the socialization process to convince young girls that they, too, have the skills and the abilities to fill these roles? At the end of the pipeline the questions are fascinating, too: what obstacles do women continue to face once they occupy these leadership positions? How does a greater gender balance in representation affect the policies and decisions being made? While women make up a very small percentage of the total in both politics and corporate America, this percentage becomes even smaller when other identities such as race and ethnicity come into play. Creating access for minority women to fill these roles is a second layer to this problem that I hope to address in some capacity.
I think growing up in a world where the evidence of gender inequality exists all around me is motivation enough to examine these issues and chip away at the glass ceiling bit by bit. I'm so excited to have an opportunity to examine these issues at a local level and meet the women change-makers and power houses who are reshaping the narratives about leadership in our community.