43 years and counting…

Women’s Equality Day is August 26th

Women’s Equality Day will be 43 years old this year when we celebrate it on Tuesday, August 26th!  But as we are marking this day, let’s pause for a moment and put context around it.

We know that in 1920, women earned the right to vote. That was 72 years after the Seneca Falls Convention and the ratification of the Declaration of Sentiments.

In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. That took 43 years.

In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug got Congress to establish Women’s Equality Day.  That took 51 years from the passage of the 19th Amendment… from 1920 to 1971.

In 2009, President Barak Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

  • That was 38 years from the establishment of Women’s Equality Day.
  • That was 46 years from the time President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.
  • That was 89 years from the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Does it feel like a long time to you?

  • 72 years to get the vote.
  • 51 years to get a day to commemorate that day (and to remind us we have work to do)
  • 43 years to force at least SOME equity pay


  • The wage gap stagnates at 77%.    
  • It will take ANOTHER 43 years until we reach pay equity in the year 2057 (according to current estimates)
  • It will be the END OF THIS CENTURY before women have equal representation in the U.S. Congress

If you don’t like these estimates, here are four things you can do.

1. Be informed — pay attention.  Get on a list to find out about issues affecting women.

2. Contact your elected officials.Yes, your one voice does make a difference! Letters, emails, phone calls…they all count, more than you realize.  And don’t forget your local city council or county commission.

3. Share the her-story with the younger generation.  Younger women often have no idea how different things are today, nor how far we have still to go.

4. Share a link to this post. Bring other women into the conversation.

Don’t wait another 43 years. Stand in your power. Ask for what you want.  And let’s make change now.

A Night of Vision

Join Us for the August 14th Women’s Leadership Salon

Gather up your old  magazines and head to The Avenue on Thursday, August 14th to finally put your vision  “out there.”  At the August Women’s Leadership Salon, we are following up on the themes from the Summit and creating Vision Boards.

map Bring 3-5 of your favorite old magazines and head to The Avenue (141 N. Martinwood Rd, Knoxville,  37923) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 14th. This fun, interactive, and powerful evening will provide you with a chance to craft your vision for the life you want to create.

At the 2014 Summit, you learned about the concept of a Vision Board. This deceptively simple tool can be surprisingly powerful in helping you gain clarity on who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have in your life and work.

And yes, that can mean anything from a new car and a promotion to a new relationship and inner peace.

vboard2The evening will be led by Wendy Pitts Reeves, founder and president of C2C Consulting, and host of Secret Adventures for Courageous Women. In her work as a life and business coach, Wendy is a radical enCourager who’s known for helping women do things they never thought they could do.vboard1

So start thinking now about what you really want for yourself. On the 14th, we’ll teach you how to manifest those concepts in your every day life.

Register now! The $26 registration includes a lovely dinner from Holly’s Eventful Dining and most materials and supplies. But we can only take 30 people, so don’t wait too long!

Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cynthia Gibson is 3rd “Lizzie” Recipient

Lizzie Crozier French dedicated her life to improving the standing of women in the world. From her suffragist work to getting women admitted to the University of Tennessee to getting women and men housed separately in the local jail, French sought equality for women on all fronts. This year’s leadership award winner has long used both her Cynthia Gibsonprofessional and personal pursuits to “lift as she climbed.”

The East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council is proud to announce today, on the 163rd birthday of the award’s namesake that Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cynthia Gibson will become the third recipient of the Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award.  She will receive the award on Friday, June 13 at the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Summit. Gibson, who is executive vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at the company, leads the way in professional circles and nonprofit realms promoting women.

During the course of her career, Gibson has experienced many “firsts.” Prior to coming to Knoxville, Gibson was the first female attorney and eventually the first woman managing partner in a Cincinnati, Ohio, law firm. She’s now the first female chief legal officer at Scripps Networks.

“Throughout my career there’ve been many times when I was the only woman in the room,” says Gibson. “I quickly learned that fact made it even more important that I speak up and contribute, and to work hard to ensure soon there were other women in the room too. To me that’s the spirit of this award, which I’m honored to be receiving: that we should all strive to help lift others up while we climb ourselves.”

Today, she is involved with Women in Cable Telecommunications and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. She recently participated in the Women in Cable Telecommunications Senior Executive Summit. Gibson is a member of the Legacy Society of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee and she chairs the board of directors of United Way Worldwide’s National Women’s Leadership Council and is a founding member and past chairperson of Knoxville’s Women of Tocqueville for United Way.

As with previous recipients (Mayor Madeline Rogero and Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee), Gibson is being awarded “The Lizzie” award to acknowledge her ongoing dedication to the principles set out by the award’s namesake.

Chair of the East Tennessee Women’s Leadership Council, Wendy Pitts Reeves says, “Each of the women who have been chosen to receive The Lizzie is a leader, not only in her field, but also in recognizing the importance of raising up women. Cynthia Gibson, like Mayor Rogero and Justice Lee, understands how critical it is to our community and to all of East Tennessee to encourage women in all walks of life to bring the very best of themselves to the table every day.”


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