Thank you for visiting our website and taking the few moments to read my message. The IFBWC has supported “women helping women” for 100 years. I’m proud of that legacy and wish to see it continue and grow for another 100 years.
At times, I hear friends say, “That’s it! We’re done. Women are equal.” However, the analytical pay equity data, my life experiences, and the life experiences of many of those around me demonstrate that statement is untrue. The “Me too” movement on social media this year showed many of us that we are not alone. If those posts made you feel like, “I need to fix this,” we welcome your membership to work along side us in changing the world that still leaves us unsatisfied.
You may ask yourself, “How can we fix it?” Our members have been working on equality before the vote for women was even ratified into law. Today, our members have collaborated with those in their communities to create annual equal pay day rallies from Chicago to Centralia. I would like to see equal pay for my teen daughters in my lifetime. We must be the change that we wish to see. Our Networking Committee is creating events to educate and inspire our communities, and in the process to build membership that will help achieve our goals. The Committee is also creating mentoring opportunities for the training of our future leadership, and the support of our young women who are starting their business careers. Our Legislation and ERA committees keep us informed as to the current state and federal bills that affect us and teach us the ways that we can make a difference. Our Legislation committee is planning a Legislation Lobby day for our members to join our collective voices. Our Education committee has expanded our state scholarship program, and now we have so many interested and qualified young women that we are considering other ways in which to reach out to potential candidates.
Our speak-off competition held in connection with our annual convention gives young women the opportunity to write and present speeches on current topics. This year I had the opportunity to be a judge and was so impressed by these candidates, many of which admitted they had not really considered issues related to equality until they became a part of the competition. The Celia Howard Foundation, which our members founded, continues to give qualified young women in the areas of public policy and law generous scholarships to help shape our women leaders of tomorrow.
Our Motto this year is “Remember, Renew, Recharge.” This year we intend to do just that. We have 100 years of our journey to remember, about which we periodically publish articles and photos. I’ve charged each member to renew their purpose to membership, to remember why they joined and renew that focus. And we are going recharge to our membership and recruit new membership with an inspiring Leadership Training on June 29th, 2019, which is open to everyone, providing engaging social media posts, and planning an exciting convention in May 2020.
I invite you to visit our website, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed, and to contact myself or any officer of our organization, to find out more about the Federation. We look forward to hearing from you as we work together to achieve equality for women everywhere!
Cherie KeslerPresident 2019-2020