As someone who has a heart, a passion, and built a career around diversity and inclusion, I feel it’s my
responsibility to share my personal experience and knowledge based on the perspective of groups who have been ostracized in America. I have written articles from the perspective of a person of color, the LGBTQ community, and a person with limitations (disability). Writing from these perspectives wasn’t a challenge because they all encompass who I am. This next article will be challenging because I want to write on Diversity and Inclusion on the behalf of women. This is a challenging task, no doubt, but not for reasons you may think.
As a man of color, I understand the history of our country. As a person with limitations, I can even have compassion for the ignorant. As a member of the LGBT community, I can try to understand people’s push back to our community.
But, it baffles me that Diversity and Inclusion have to be explained when it comes to the female population since a woman built my entire world. My mother, Linda Coleman Dunn, with her GED went from the hired help to a Facility Manager. Her duties were not limited to the cleaning of the building her job expanded to maintenance-upkeep of the facility. Scoring the only perfect score in the nation on the entrance exam for the position; she was so superb at what she did that a well-known university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana approached her about writing a training manual on Facility Management. Linda, a single mother, raised 7 kids and put them all through high school without government assistance. I, one of her children, was a special needs child classified as mentally disabled. She supported me through teaching myself how to read, graduating top 5 of my class, becoming the first college graduate in the family and living an independent life 700 miles away from her. There may be some out there that say a man is physically stronger than a woman and therefore women should be viewed as inferior; however, men that worked under her supervision have confessed to her ability to work circles around them. Her male friends, brothers, and sons have learned the hard way that you don’t want her to take you out back. My mother ran her work life, her home life and her personal life with a ruthless efficiency. In the midst of her dementia becoming Alzheimer’s, Linda C. Dunn, remains to be a force to be reckoned with. Let’s note here: In today’s day and time, is very difficult to live above poverty on one income. Many families would not survive without the resources of having a strong career woman in the workplace.
The contribution women have made to society is one of the topics I have been researching for my next book, D+I=EI (Relational DNA). Before I share those current contributions, let me remind everyone, women have been important to the development of this world since the bible days.
1. Rahab had her own bed and breakfast.
2. Lydia had a boutique for royal purple cloth.
3. Priscilla and her husband were partners in the tent making business.
4. Hudlah was what is now called a life coach and spiritual advisor.
5. Pheobe was a preacher. Yes, they had women preachers back then.
6. Deborah was a judge.
7. Candace was a queen over Natuin.
As my mom would say, “Don’t get it twisted,” women have always been irreplaceable members of society. Let’s start with a basic truth: If a child had to grow up with one parent, the mother would be the best choice. The nurturing and Emotional Intelligence needed for that child to become a stable adult more often comes from a woman. There are some single fathers in the world. I don’t question that. However, It cannot be denied that there is a certain seed that can only be planted in a child from their mother that helps them develop through the stages of life. Often times, the strongest teachers we encounter from nursery school all the way up to our secondary education are women. The wisdom and knowledge that they give to their students cannot be replaced.
With all that being said, I’ve only scratched the surface on a very basic level on the contribution women have made in our society, our country, and the entire world. Women are strong in the Education system, Corporate America, as well as Politics. Our female population has proven to be just as equal and powerful in the boardroom as men. We have CEO’s who run major conglomerates like Mary T. Barra, General Motors, Marilyn A. Hewson, Lockheed Martin, and Virginia M. Rometty, IBM Corp.
Let’s just come out and say it: Women are needed in politics to ensure everyone is indeed heard. The wisdom and strength of women like Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice cannot be overlooked. Our country would be in more of a mess if there weren’t straightforward females on the front lines speaking on the behalf of the other half of our population. Our society is safer and more peaceful because of the gentleness of a female leader.
Finally, it has been the compassion of a woman that has brought the instrumental social change that has been so needed in our country. Women like T.V. personality and producer Oprah Winfrey, anchorperson and news reporter, Diane Sawyer, have made a great impact on society. No one can deny the effects Michelle Obama has had on our country as the First Lady. Every man in the world should be thankful for the compassion of Mother Theresa, the wisdom of Maya Angelou and the courage of Princess Diana. No doubt about it, women have played an important role in launching and maintaining the progress of this nation. God knew that man alone could not accomplish all that needed to be accomplished in this world, therefore, He created woman.