Monthly Archives: August, 2016

Let’s Celebrate Women All the Time

August 25th, 2016 Posted by featured, writings 0 comments on “Let’s Celebrate Women All the Time”

Like many of you, I was so thrilled and proud of our American women on the Olympic team.  Our athletes, male and female, received 121 medals – and the next highest country in medal count was a whopping 51 lower! And guess who won over half of them? Women, at 53%.

The media coverage was excellent, with some minor exceptions when the stellar female wasn’t placed in the headline with the supersize type, but got considerably smaller, less visible coverage in some newspapers.  I just want equal type for equal performance.

Business Insider did a very nifty graphic going back to 1896 which showed the upward and downward path women have taken in the Summer Olympics. Since about 1976 it has been on a really meteoric rise. I hope a couple of things come out of this wonderful coverage.

First that we realize we need to fully support women’s athletics. They need good access to the same kind of playing field, literally. We Americans are justly proud of our athletes – let’s show it for all our athletes.

Second, let’s talk about the glowing successes of women more often than every four years with a global event. We have women every day across the country doing wonderful things and it just isn’t reported.

I’ve been watching the media for a while now and the coverage of women was wonderful…but how come we have to wait for a once every four year barrage to celebrate women?

 

The media are the great source of our information and I have been doing a bit of looking at how women are even employed in the media. If you aren’t employed there, it can be hard to be recognized. Nearly 70 % of college graduates with degrees in communications or media are women. But are they employed by the media? Not so much.

 

The New York Times staff has 32% women, the Wall Street Journal and LA Times are at 40%, and the Chicago Sun Times at 55%. The national average is 37%. Same kind of numbers are in evening TV, women at 32%. In Texas we have a dismal low at the San Antonio Express News of 27% and the high of 41% at the Dallas Morning News.

 

Let’s celebrate women every day – through every form of expression. We are celebrating men as we should, and let’s do the same for women. Go girl go!

 

Take Notes from West Texas A&M

August 18th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Take Notes from West Texas A&M”

After all the bad news about Texas campuses, specifically Baylor, showing a marked disrespect for women, kudos to the leaders at West Texas A&M. A recent story in the Amarillo Globe-News described the results from the efforts the campus has undertaken to protect young women.

Based on a compilation of statistics, this campus was ranked as the safest among 10 other Texas schools because of its work in educating not only college students but also high school students about a culture of rape and domestic violence.

Their efforts led to a markedly lower crime rate compared to Prairie View A&M University, and Abilene Christian among others. What the stats show is that proactive and focused efforts can change things and for the better.

The campus has a Family Support Services crisis unit. It not only provides information to prevent crimes of rape, but also what to do if one occurs. One significant legal difference between high school and college is that high school teachers are legally required to report criminal activity, because the students are minors, In college, that obligation changes – and there is no obligation to pursue prosecution. It seems as though many faculty on campuses are not actually aware of their obligations and West Texas A&M has done a lot to make that obligation clearer.

So let’s all applaud West Texas A&M for not only caring about young women, but taking serious, proactive steps to protect them. Let’s hope other campuses will follow their example.

Marta Karolyi’s Legacy & The Final Five

August 18th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Marta Karolyi’s Legacy & The Final Five”

The U.S. Olympic team fielded a stellar cast across a range of sports, but one woman, not competing herself, deserves special attention. Marta Karolyi, the coach for the women’s gymnastics team, at the end of the 2016 Olympics will have coached her last Olympic team.

And what a team she led as the national coordinator for women’s gymnastics! The Final Five, as they were dubbed in a tribute to her leadership, has brought home an astounding haul of medals: four gold, four silver and one bronze.

Simone Biles who dazzled on the floor exhibit, was accompanied in her quest for gold by Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. These five women all were absolutely wonderful in Rio, and the pride and admiration for these young women has sparked a national conversation about women.

Their coach deserves a lot of credit for crafting an approach to work across a national scale. Before the Karolyis (Marta and her husband Bela) modified it, each gymnast trained at home with their individual coaches, That led to uneven outcomes. The genius of what Marta accomplished after she was tapped to lead the effort, was to provide a central monthly team wide training camp in east Texas…the members worked together, and the coaches across the nation understood their national goal.

Marta’s unique style and deep knowledge of the sport led to astonishing successes. But of course she was working with highly skilled, dedicated young women from all across the country.

The Final Five understood her role and chose to honor her with the name. Marta and five young fantastically gifted and hard-working young women swept the U.S. to an unprecedented win this season.

Our hats off to all of them.

Let’s Hear it for the Women

August 15th, 2016 Posted by writings 0 comments on “Let’s Hear it for the Women”

I know the 2016 summer Olympic games have had its share of good and bad stories: toilets that don’t work, risk of safety in Rio de Janeiro, the risk of Zika virus for the participants. Too many negatives stories.

So it was refreshing to hear a good story.

Lilly King is a young American olympian, and she is reminding us about the spirit of the games. You see, Ms. King and her fellow American olympians do not use illegal substances to enhance their performance. But they had been seething quietly over the fact that the International Olympic Committee permitted Russians to compete, even though these Russians had been previously banned for using illegal substances.

Ms. King courageously pointed out the IOC’s flawed decision, which trampled the spirit of the games and allowed cheaters to compete,

“A level playing field would be preferred,” she said in a quiet yet seething public speech.

And with that, Ms. King demonstrated the kind of courage most of us should envy.

But Ms. King didn’t stop there. She went on to let her talent speak volumes. In full view of the public, she set an Olympic record for the 100 meter breaststroke. Her main rival was Yulia Efimova who came in second place. Ms. Efimova is a Russian swimmer who benefitted from the IOC’s inexcusable flip-flop. The IOC refused to ban Efimova from the games, even after a myriad of well documented reports that laid bare Russia’s state-sponsored doping program.

As Ms. King pointed out allowing athletes in the Olympics who dope is not a level playing field. That is a blunt assessment of the burdens being imposed on the clean athletes.

The real question is – should an athlete who was caught and punished for doping be allowed back in? The clean athletes who never crossed that line feel that officials aren’t backing them up. The crowds also felt the same way as the Russian swimmer was booed. Thank goodness Ms. King did not back down. She seized an opportunity and she made a statement.

People who follow this issue and work against doping, expressed support for Ms. King and Michael Phelps who subsequently backed her up. It was also pointed out that there were members on the U.S. team who had previously been sanctioned for doping.

To me it is clear – the sport must clean itself up and the Olympics must hold itself to higher standards.

And we should be proud of young, courageous athletes who speak up. We should commend Lilly King. Too bad the officials at the International Olympic Committee don’t have her courage.

Susan Bio Blurb 4

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by testimonial 0 comments on “Susan Bio Blurb 4”

Susan Combs is direct, and wins high marks for her ability to get to the heart of the matter at hand. A former state representative and Texas’ first female Agriculture Commissioner, she is also known for her work as former Texas State Comptroller where she streamlined tax processes, which shortened refund time by 78% and decreased response time to taxpayer inquiries by two-thirds.

Susan Bio Blurb 3

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by testimonial 0 comments on “Susan Bio Blurb 3”

As a speaker Susan Combs, talks about the challenges of being a woman in a leadership role, but that’s not her only specialty. For her work in helping combat childhood obesity, she was featured in the HBO multi-part series, The Weight of the Nation, as well as numerous newspapers and TV programs. Combs also talks on best practices and knows how to bring out peak performance in both business and government. After all, this is a person who issued over 50 policy reports on government efficiency, natural resources, state spending and debt, the effects of obesity costs for business, public and higher education, water and other pertinent topics. She also draws upon her experiences as a business owner, drawing parallels between her audiences’ challenges and those she’s faced as a Texas rancher.

Susan Bio Blurb 2

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by testimonial 0 comments on “Susan Bio Blurb 2”

Susan Combs has been featured in TIME magazine, Fox News, Bloomberg, Bond Buyer, the Wall Street Journal Online, the Washington Post and other state and national media outlets. Additionally, she has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, USA Today, TownHall, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman and Investors Business Daily.

 

Susan Bio Blurb

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by testimonial 0 comments on “Susan Bio Blurb”

Susan Combs is a common sense, no-nonsense public servant who changed the face of government while assuring that free enterprise thrives. As a business leader, Combs has managed her cattle ranching operation for more than 30 years on land in the Big Bend area of Texas that has been in her family since 1882. At a time when many only talk loudly, she is one of the rare folks who actually gets things done.

HERdacity

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by projectSummary 0 comments on “HERdacity”

HERdacity is building a community where women can find others who share their interests, encourage their growth and dare to follow their passions. Susan launched HERdacity in 2015 by forming the nonprofit to launch an online space where modern women can share ideas and wisdom.

It’s mission statement:

We believe that the worth of a woman shouldn’t be determined by anyone but her. We also believe that we can help all women hold themselves in higher esteem. How? By connecting them with each other so they can build bonds and share experiences. Because by exchanging our unique skills and insights, we help move each other forward and, ultimately, see ourselves a little differently.

Visit HERdacity.org