International Women's Day 2016: How Women Are Giving Back to the World

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International Women's Day is a global celebration working for the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women. The theme for 2016 is #GenderParity. Maggie Gunther Osborn, President of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy was the keynote speaker at Liberty Bank's annual breakfast program celebrating International Women's Day. Liberty Bank Foundation is a proud member of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. Maggie spoke about how women are giving back to the world in an address that touched on the past and future of women and girls issues. Maggie asked the audience to hold a woman in own hearts and heads today who has given something to us and to the world.

She then gave her 5 action items for celebrating women's issues and for working towards gender parity:

  1. "Be a champion of diversity wherever and whenever you can."
  2. "Do not make assumptions of where talent or potential come from... Think about how your unconscious bias may keep you from giving a girl or woman an opportunity."
  3. Be a mentor to women and girls around you every day."
  4. "Be a sponsor, talk about and on behalf of the women and girls around you, give them access to networks and opportunities, and sing their praises publicly."
  5. Help more women decide to run for political and public sector leadership. We need more women in public life."

As March is Women's History month, let's all take seriously the advice Maggie gave. Let us embody these words and honor women not just on International Women's Day, or Women's History Month , but every day moving forward. Cheers to all the fantastic ladies who connect, inspire, and showcase each other! To learn more about  Maggie Gunther Osbornand the Connecticut Council or Philanthropy, please visit: ctphilanthropy.org and @CTphilanthropy. To learn more about how The Lady Project inspires, connects, and showcases women, please visit: ladyproject.org and @ladyprojectorg .

Brooke E. Petit is the Special Projects Manager at the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. She brings a combined 2 years of nonprofit internship experience to her current role, where her project management and prioritization skills are key. She has coordinated daily operations for the Executive Office of the President at Providence College and raised the school's PC fund over $14,000 from young alumni. Brooke holds a bachelor of arts in Sociology from Providence College, where she graduated Cum Laude and ranked third in the class of 2014's Sociology department. Brooke values mental health, immigration reform, cross-sector collaboration, and everyday philanthropy, all of which influence her work. She has plans to pursue her career and academic interests of advocacy, data analysis, social change and applied sociology. Brooke loves American handmade crafts, snail mail, and iced green tea. When not working her life is enjoyably filled with electro funk concerts, mindfulness meditation, yoga, or organizing her Passion Planner.