Year: 2014

All Year: 2014

February 25, 2014

Making a Difference One Life At a Time

On March 8, the whole world will be celebrating International Women’s Day.march 8

For more than 100 years, International Women’s Day has celebrated the social, political, and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.

This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is Inspiring Changeby calling for:

  • Greater awareness of women’s equality
  • More women in senior leadership roles
  • Equal recognition of women in the arts
  • Growth of women-owned businesses
  • Increased financial independence of women
  • More women in science, technology, engineering and math
  • Fairer recognition of women in sport

As much as things have changed for women, much still needs to be changed.  Despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They usually have less access than men to medical care, property ownership, credit, training and employment. They are far less likely than men to be politically active and far more likely to be victims of domestic violence.  Worldwide today:

  • Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
  • Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
  • Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18
  • Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States.
  • Human rights groups estimate that anywhere between 12.3 million and 27 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time.
  • More women than men live in poverty.
  • About two thirds of the illiterate adults in the world are female. Higher levels of women’s education are strongly associated with both lower infant mortality and lower fertility, as well as with higher levels of education and economic opportunity for their children.
  • Internationally, social and legal institutions still do not guarantee women equality in basic legal and human rights, in access to or control of land or other resources, in employment and earnings, and social and political participation.

Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life.  Equality between men and women exists when both sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities for financial independence through work or through setting up businesses; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.

  • Educated women are more likely to use health clinics and return to the clinic if their children’s health does not improve.
  • Educated women tend to begin their families at a later age and have fewer, healthier children.
  • A 1% rise in women’s literacy is 3 times more likely to reduce deaths in children than a 1% rise in the number of doctors. (Based upon a United Nations study of 46 countries.)
  • For women, 4 to 6 years of education led to a 20% drop in infant deaths (Based on the same UN study mentioned above.)
  • Women with more education generally have better personal health and nutrition.
  • The families of women with some education tend to have better housing, clothing, income, water, and sanitation.

Cable is proud of the women and men who join the organization to promote opportunity for women.  There is more to do.  What can you do to make a difference in just one life?

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February 24, 2014

Inaugural Corporate Board Academy graduates 13 local business women

24 Feb 2014 3:10 PM |

Nashville Cable program prepares board-ready women for corporate board roles

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (Jan. 28, 2014) – Nashville Cable today announced the graduation of 13 local business women from the inaugural Corporate Board Academy, which is designed to help prepare board-ready women to obtain meaningful corporate board roles.

Teresa Broyles-Aplin, Anita Elliott, Kathy Jones, Carol McCoy, Mary Mirabelli, Rita Mitchell, Billye Sanders, Katy Sheesley, Teresa Sparks, Laura Smith Tidwell, Laura Reinbold, Denise Warren and Evette White successfully completed the program, which began in October 2013 and concluded in January 2014.

Research shows that companies with greater numbers of women in executive leadership positions boast superior financial performance compared to their peers. Despite these trends, women continue to be underrepresented on corporate boards and in C-suites across the country, particularly in Tennessee.

Pursuant to its mission of “Connecting Women and Opportunity,” Cable is determined to connect Tennessee’s qualified female candidates with board service. The organization’s hallmark initiative is Women on Corporate Boards, which advocates for gender diversity on boards and in top leadership teams of Tennessee companies.

In its inaugural offering, Cable’s Corporate Board Academy covered a variety of topics including, building the best board bio, audit committee responsibilities, compensation committee roles and responsibilities, building a personal elevator pitch and conducting mock interviews with corporate leaders, along with additional content stemming from a generous donation of time from the Tennessee chapter of Women Corporate Directors and Ernst & Young.

“We are very proud of these 13 women who are positioning themselves to serve on public corporate boards,” said Susan Huggins, executive director of Cable. “It is essential that more corporate boards are aware of the great talent available to them. This academy is just one successful effort to help achieve that goal.”

About Cable and Women on Corporate Boards

Nashville Cable is Tennessee’s largest and most established network of professionals with nearly 500 members and a 30-year history of helping women reach their full potential. The organization’s mission of “Connecting Women and Opportunity” has shaped its networking programs and advocacy initiatives, and created a forward-thinking infrastructure for expansion nationally. Cable’s hallmark initiative, Women on Corporate Boards, is dedicated to increasing numbers of women on Tennessee corporate boards and in the executive suite, and to helping lead that movement nationally. Cable is a member of the InterOrganization Network, an alliance of 15 women’s organizations with a common mission across the United States. This provides a national context for benchmarking research and enhances CABLE’s resources to effect positive change in Tennessee. For more information about Cable and Women on Corporate Boards, please visit www.nashcable.staging.wpengine.com.

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January 30, 2014

The Past As Inspiration

In February we celebrate both Black History Month and Women’s Health Month. Accordingly, we will be honored to have Dr. Leslie Douglas-Churchwell, a respected physician and civic leader in our community, as our luncheon speaker on February 12.

To further honor both black history and the women’s health movement, I would like to introduce you to Rebecca Lee Crumpler, an African American woman and early pioneer in the nursing field, who lived from 1831 to 1895.

Rebecca was the first African American woman to earn a medical degree at a time when advanced education for women was rare and for African American women, improbable.

Rebecca was born free in Delaware and raised by an aunt in Pennsylvania who had a profound effect on her. The aunt was the person in the community to whom everyone came for medical assistance. Her service to the community became Rebecca’s inspiration for her life’s calling. Rebecca wrote early on that she knew her life’s work had to be in a field where she could “relieve the sufferings of others,” as her aunt had done.

There were no schools of nursing at that time, but that did not deter Rebecca. In 1852, she moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where for eight years she learned on the job to become a nurse. She impressed the doctors with whom she worked, and they submitted letters recommending that she be admitted to the New England Female Medical College. Her acceptance at the college was highly unusual, as there were few medical schools and most did not admit African Americans.

Although her studies were interrupted by war, she graduated in 1864 and became the first African American woman in the United States to earn a medical degree, and the only African American woman to ever graduate from the New England Female Medical College.

After the war, Crumpler moved to Richmond, Virginia, where her main focus was on the health needs of freed slaves. In her work with other black doctors, she tended to large groups of the poor and destitute who otherwise would have had little access to medical care. Thus a new path was forged for healthcare in underserved communities.

In 1869, she and her husband, Arthur Crumpler, returned to Boston and established a practice where she specialized in caring for women and children. In 1883 her Book of Medical Discourses was published; the book was written for women to provide them with information to understand how to care for the health of their families.

We often take for granted the privilege of education, of attaining our aspirations and of received healthcare when we have those things. We often forget that not all people, especially women, get the education they need to attain their aspirations or the healthcare access they need to live long, productive lives.

I hope Rebecca’s story will remind us all of the impact one woman can have if given the opportunity to try.

For more information about Racial and Ethnic health disparities consider the following facts:

Infants born to black women are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to die than those born to women of other races/ethnicities and American Indian and Alaska Native infants die from SIDS at nearly 2.5 times the rate of white infants.

African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives are twice as likely to have diabetes as white individuals; diabetes rates among Hispanics are 1.5 times higher than those for whites.

Leading factors in cause of death in Tennessee:

  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • No leisure time-physical activity
  • Smoking currently
  • Eating 5+ fruits and vegetable a day

Visit the American Public Health Association to download more important facts about health disparities and what can be done to address the issues.

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January 5, 2014

Looking Forward by Looking Back

 (Curious about what your Cable Board is doing? Read on.)

As 2013 comes to a close and I look ahead to 2014, I am resolved to take with me into this new year a host of lessons learned both of my own making as well as from someone recently lost from this world.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela we have the opportunity to sincerely embrace and celebrate universal leadership teachings from someone who left a legacy to those who are willing to listen.

“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.”

Mandela taught us leadership is not the position you hold in the organization or the title on your business card but the behaviors you choose to use in every situation with every person you meet. Nashville is filled with remarkable women leaders, many of whom are not necessarily Presidents or CEOs, but have a point of view, something to say, a passion to make a difference and are willing to give of themselves and of their time to do it. Cable is fortunate to have many of those women on our Board and/or involved in our initiatives.

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

There is a staccato drumbeat for women in leadership, women on boards, equal opportunities, equal pay coming from more sources than ever before. New non-profit organizations are emerging each year to raise awareness and measure results of the progress women are making in seeking and receiving opportunities at the highest levels of leadership. Cable has been a leader in this effort for over eight years through our Women On Boards initiative and our partnership with Lipscomb University to measure results for Tennessee.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Mandela taught us to dream big and make things happen. Cable is successful only when we collaborate and work together to raise everyone’s prospects and create a future for women that hasn’t existed before. This requires action. If you believe, as I do, that you can make a difference, get involved by adding your voice to the Women’s Leadership Committee, enroll in the Cable Leadership Academy or join the organization’s board.

Your Cable Board is working hard to propel this organization forward with the clear intent of providing needed support to women in every walk of business life. This means having informed and necessary debate about what this organization can and should provide to you and to our community.

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Mandela taught us to be better, not bitter. We know from our recent survey of Cable members there is great interest in bettering ourselves through personal and professional development. To that end we have instituted a strategy in our Women’s Leadership Committee that envelops the desire to learn management and leadership skills as well as improve personal productivity.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Mandela taught us to never give up on seemingly impossible ideals. With the collaboration and expertise of Cable women leaders, a group of thirteen women applied and were accepted into the inaugural Cable Board Academy. Over the course of five months the class has learned about board service, the roles and responsibilities of board members, how to research companies and prepare to be interviewed as a prospective board member. The program will culminate in January with mock interviews. Each one of these women is capable, skilled and now prepared to seek a board seat. I have no doubt that each will one day find a place on at least one board. We owe a big thank you to Jan Babiak and Kim Holleman for providing leadership and vision so this dream could become a reality.

Consider what opportunities are in front of you in 2014. Are you ready to accept the opportunities when they are presented? Are you making opportunities happen for yourself?

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

Finally, as we reflect on the lessons from Mandela, let us remember the word “Ubuntu”: I am because of you.

Thank you for the opportunity to lead Cable this year. There is so much more we can do. Please join with your Board and let us make great things happen for women.

Happy New Year to all!!

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