March 8 has been dedicated to honoring the achievements of women all over the world since 1911. Growing throughout the decades to Women’s History Week in 1980 and quickly to Women’s History Month by 1987, the event solidified the nations support for those women who paved the way for so many others before them.
Glendale Community College took part in this annual celebration of female triumph with a month-long display located in the student union.
It features a visual representation of various successful and inspiring women including Oprah Winfrey, Helen Keller, Joan Rivers and our very own campus president, Dr. Irene Kovala. Prominently placed quotes from each of these lovely ladies and special books filled the display case with insightful encouragement for passing students and staff.
The organization producing this exhibit as well as several other campus events geared towards empowering women, is the Glendale Community College Women’s Leadership Group.
Although the focus of the group is helping the women of Maricopa County Community Colleges reach their professional goals, WLG membership is open to anyone with an interest in advancing their MCCCD careers
“We offer several events on campus here for our women,” said WLG co-chair and event coordinator, Denise Wiseman. “We have speakers that come in and talk to us on different things, like resume writing, it could be leadership or whatever would help them with their jobs. Men are also welcome though, we do have men that are members of WLG.”
The group also holds a Women of Distinction award ceremony each year in honor of the many successes of the women of Maricopa County Community Colleges.
“It’s district wide, we honor women from each school,” said Wiseman. “So we actually get to nominate someone here at GCC.” Last year, GCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Mary Ann Estopeyan won for her hard work in organizing and coordinating class schedules.
In addition to working with GCC employees, WLG is committed to helping other organizations in support of less fortunate women and men in the community such as Singleton Moms too.
“It’s a non profit organization that helps single parents with cancer and provides them those basic necessities that they probably otherwise would not be able to buy for their children and themselves,” said WLG main co-chair, Jennifer Toole. “So hygiene things, paper towels, lotion, soap, toothpaste-we’re doing a donation drive to collect those things for them.”
The Women’s Leadership Group also holds an annual themed conference with special speeches and activities. GCC’s main campus will host this year on April 30.
“It’s going to be around the concept of “B.E.L.I.E.V.E.,” which is to Be Empowered, Lead-In, and Embrace your Vision Everyday,” said Wiseman pointing to each letter. “So we’ll have a keynote speaker [Joy Lubeck], break-out sessions and lunch for everyone.”
For the women employed by GCC, North, MCC and all seven other campuses of the Maricopa County network of colleges, the Women’s Leadership Group is providing the encouragement needed to seize more career opportunities than ever before.
More importantly, they are giving the hope and the confidence that is so essential for all women to go after those bigger and better dreams.
“Women have a tendency to be afraid when it comes to taking risks and it always helps when you see other women that have already taken those risks for you, it makes it a little easier” said Toole. “Not only that, it’s nice to see that the C.E.O. of Yahoo, the C.E.O. of Facebook are women and [to know that] we can do that too.”
Membership fees for WLG are only $15 per year which partially funds the Gina Kranitz Memorial scholarship for WLG members working towards their bachelor’s degree. Interested MCCCD employees can contact Laura Hinau to get enrolled.