March is Women's History Month: an annual celebration of women's myriad contributions to events in history and contemporary society. This year's theme, "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced,” represents an extension of the women's suffrage centennial celebrations (since many of those originally scheduled for 2020 were curtailed). With that in mind, we asked some of the women of Ethic to share their thoughts on what their vote means to them, and/ or discuss a fearless woman that has served as an inspiration in their lives. Here's what they had to say:
What does your vote mean to you?
"My vote is my tool for change: a tool to sculpt a better tomorrow for my future daughters and a brighter future for generations to come." —Ashley Rivera, Marketing
"I always have to remind myself that voting is such a powerful privilege. And that hasn't been extended to everyone, even in recent history. If you look back to the 1940s, when Chinese Americans secured the right to vote—or the 1920s, when women did—its crazy to think that having a voice is relatively new for a lot of groups of people. That makes it feel so important." —Rebecca Hu, Sustainability
"Using your vote is an act of respect, not just for yourself but for everyone both past and present who were denied this unalienable right. It’s a small but meaningful declaration that you matter to your community and your country, and a reminder that government serves the people, not the other way around." —Sara Blake, Creative
"Having the opportunity to vote — especially this past year — felt like the biggest action I could take as an individual to have an impact on the world around me. A number of recent close races have really highlighted how important it is that every single one of us vote, in a way I hadn't realized before. It's an enormous responsibility to vote with our entire community in mind, and to elect officials who will protect and advocate for vulnerable communities." —Amanda Baker, Relationship Management
"Knowing that everyone is equal in this country, having my voice being heard and selecting a leader who will bring polices that are not only good for the US but also for the world and our future generations." —Michelle Sze, Technology
"Voting for me is an opportunity to raise my voice, and also to consider what I want my voice, my impact within my community, to be. Voting reminds of of 'helping' my mom close the curtain on the voting booth and crank the lever of the machine to submit her vote. It reminds me of the lessons my parents taught me about caring deeply and disagreeing strongly, but still being able to be good neighbors and friends. It reminds me of walking to local rallies with my dad the the night before an election to hear candidates speak, stand with neighbors holdings signs, and understand what democratic participation looked like in my own community. Voting is only one action among many, but for me it's a personal and important one." —Sarah Donnelly Patel, Operations
Who is a fearless woman that inspires you and why?
"My great Aunt Jean McCarthy who is turning 95 years old this March. You can read about her here - at 91, she was the oldest registered nurse in New England and second oldest in the country! She's been supporting herself as a nurse since 1946. Still a huge proponent of cocktail hour and one of the funniest people I've ever met, I'm so lucky to have an inspiration like Aunt Jean in my life." —Claire Quigley, Relationship Management
"I've always loved sports, and Megan Rapinoe's success as an athlete and a leader has been so amazing to watch. She's the kind of leader that inspires me to reflect on how I want to use my own voice and the kind of impact I want to have in different areas of my own life." —Rebecca Hu, Sustainability
"Rachel Carson, most widely known as the author of Silent Spring. While Rachel was not the first to advocate on behalf of our planet and the degradation that humans inflicted on it, she used her talents to write an accessible book that instilled these values in many young souls around the world, including my own." —Kelly Mahoney, Relationship Management
"There are too many to name but for me, the powerful and bold female voices of art, poetry and music, have the ability to seep deeply into both culture and politics to elevate the human spirit: Patti Smith, Nina Simone, Hilma af Klint, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe, Maya Angelou to name only a few." —Sara Blake, Creative
"A number of years ago I was part of a professional conversation about women in leadership (and sometimes lack thereof), and it inspired me to reflect on the women in my own life. It made me appreciate, perhaps truly for the first time as an adult, just how lucky I am to have countless amazing, inspiring, and fearless women in my own life. Women who have risen to esteem in their careers, and those who have charted their own paths. Women who have chosen selflessness without compromising themselves. Women who are strong and kind in equal measure. Women much older than I, as well as friends, sisters, peers, and some amazing young women. For me it's the fearless women in my own life, every one of them in every different way, who have the greatest impact on me." —Sarah Donnelly Patel, Operations