It is nice to step away from the glaringly ‘male type topics’. In addition, shame on males/females for not knowing it is currently National Women’s Empowerment Month (March). When I first heard that the University of Arkansas was having Felecia Hall Allen to speak to a group of 18-22 year old women about empowerment, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a better understanding of ‘empowerment’ and how women were using the word for advancement.
Felecia Hall Allen, CEO of Felicia Hall Allen and Associates is the former Manager of NIKE’S Women’s Marketing Department and a Team Executive for the WNBA Charlotte Sting.[caption id="attachment_929" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo credit: University of Arkansas media relations[/caption]
Topics discussed: leadership skills, team building, organizational development, adversity management, performance goals, learning goals, and stretch goals. Felecia did a good job of having applicable stories that helped thread the points she was trying to make. Her target audience was unique, as in it was specific to women's athletics, but still important as the young ladies are very much in a development stage and had little knowledge of empowerment and what it can mean for them. There were many things I felt the young ladies were able to take away from engaging in the discussion with Felecia. The first, “be right or be wrong about something, just make sure you have a voice.” Her concept of being aware and heard was important because many of these young ladies don’t feel they always have a voice.[caption id="attachment_930" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Photo Credit: University of Arkansas Graduate Assistant (Simeon Hinsey)[/caption]
Another thing she stated that really jumped out was “men are good at being clear about who they are, while women are passive in their identity." Is this statement what makes men and women different from an empowerment standpoint? Could empowerment be as simple as confidence? I am not sure if confidence alone can increase spiritual, social, political, gender, or educational strength. But, I left this empowerment lecture thinking that women are closer than most of the men I know to empowerment and applying it to their lives for growth/strength.