Family dinners are a rare treat this month with both of my kids playing spring sports. I savor the chance to hear everyone’s highlights from the day and enjoy how our conversations can range from cat stories to current events. I recently asked my ten-year-old daughter over dinner if she wanted to attend the Women of Excellence event with me this year. This led to Q&A about the event and I showed her the latest issue of Women@Work magazine, which features this year’s Women of Excellence recipients.
Kate agreed to join me and I am excited that she will be able to hear the inspirational stories of these incredible women firsthand. Growing up, I didn’t know many women in business and only had one memorable female role model: my aunt Gerry Regan, who was an executive at Quaker Oats Company in Chicago. I am grateful to now have so many role models in my life and to be able to expose Kate at a young age to the many different types of career paths that are available to her.
During this same dinner conversation, my teenage son went on to say that the Women’s Business Council seemed sexist to him. We talked about the wage gap and other challenges that women in business have faced over the years. I reflected upon the WBC’s recent “C-Secrets from the C-Level” program, in which we discussed how it’s estimated to take another 100 years to close the wage gap at the current rate and what we can do to accelerate progress.
Then I thought about the importance of naming and how my son had a point – maybe a name like WBC makes some men feel like they’re not welcome. I told my son that it’s important for men and women to partner in business just like any other profession and asked him if he had any ideas of names that seemed more inclusive to him. Jackson thought about this for a few minutes and then suggested that the WBC be renamed to “Equal Jobs Council.” I realize that the WBC is about so much more than jobs but appreciate the sentiment and told him that we’d consider it.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Women of Excellence luncheon. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the WBC Voice blog so you that you can read more about our WOE recipients before the big event.