Women’s Equality Day
Today, on August 26, we celebrate National Women’s Equality Day. Originally recognized in the early 1970s, this day has historically marked the passage of the 19th Amendment back in 1920 (granting women the right to vote). In recent years, this date has only become more prolific as it becomes clearer every day that we as a nation and beyond have far more ground to cover on the road to true women’s equality. Education, salary, and upward professional mobility are just a precious few of the areas where we must and will do better collectively for our sisters, friends, mothers, and daughters both here and abroad.
As both an executive and entrepreneur with a platform and resources to contribute, I am in the fortunate position of creating opportunities for women of my community, in my businesses, and through philanthropy. A lifetime of hospitality roles from childhood has all but ingrained in me the importance of serving others, and particularly women and girls. As of this year, across our organizations, nearly half of our senior positions are held by women. We intend to increase these numbers every year, as well as continue to create pathways for talented women to grow and thrive in our network of companies.
My father, an entrepreneur in his own right, and one of the biggest supporters throughout my life and career, always instilled in me the value of transparency, making sure those around you know where you stand. Well, my convictions in women’s causes couldn’t be stronger, and The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, which I founded nearly a decade ago with my husband is the main vehicle with which I am proudly able to empower women and girls in our communities.
The Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, and Live & Learn are just a few of the organizations we support that specifically uplift and support young women. Since the inception of our Foundation, women and girls have been educated, enriched, fed, or sheltered through the grants made. I’m the first to say that that is only the tip of the spear, and that it’s not just about financial donations, but shifting our collective mindset to get everyone onboard with the intrinsic and enormous value of women in culture, society, education, the arts, and in the workplace. Certainly, in my world, where golf, fashion, and business intersect, I have an enormous responsibility to set an example and to do so with the same consistency and passion with which I approach my philanthropic work. It’s an honor and a wonderful challenge each day.
Making the time, committing long-term and consistently is how I’ve seen progress and change with these organizations; and it’s doing all of this with heart and love that’s changed me. There is power in giving: time, energy, resources, and love – whatever might be available to you on any given day or week – know that your outpouring of any kind is a gift, and pledge, with me, to keep giving. Celebrate the women in your life today, and every day.