The 16th annual North Bay Business Journal’s Women in Business Gala, was nothing short of inspiring and quite honestly one of the most memorable evenings of my career. With over 250 attendees, most of whom were women from the Sonoma, Napa, and Marin county all coming together for this prestigious event. The venue was absolutely stunning and attendees were dressed in their best evening dresses, and of course the quintessential power suits.

When I got the call that I had been nominated and received the award for Women in Business Leadership Award for the North Bay, I was completely shocked. What an incredible privilege and honor to be recognized by one of the most respected business journals and obviously the caliber of women that work in this community.IMG_8888

I have to say coming from the outdoor industry, dressing up usually for women is letting your hair down and wearing your best organic cotton dress. For my male counterparts, it’s your best outdoor plaid shirt and shorts with the least amount of Southern Utah dust stains. I might be exaggerating, not really though!

It is challenging times in the global economy and usually the first thing to be cut from any organization budgets are events like this. Similar to the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition  (OIWC) leadership awards, the NBBJ priority is to recognize female community leaders and have an awards ceremony. At one point during the week I asked myself, “Do I really deserve this?”

I had a conversation with my friend, Marmot rep, and industry leader – Meg Fogg and told her what was on my mind. Meg who is currently in the OIWC Mentoring program is passionate about her career, but even more so thrives in  supporting other women in the industry achieve their personal and professional goals.

I was telling Meg about the event and that the energy was incredibly uplifting and it made me and the other attendees feel like we were special. Meg was quick to respond, “Well you should be.” She then said, “I think women should ALWAYS be treated equal, but BETTER in the workplace. We are the providers, multi-taskers, caregivers, cooks, cleaners, managers, team leads, car pool drivers, and we arrive to our meetings five minutes early every time”. Thanks, Fogg – you tell it like it is and make no apologies.

I strongly agree with Meg, that women take on more responsibilities at work and especially in the home. According to the Pew Research Center,
IMG_8973For example, 64% of mothers in two-parent households say that they do more than their spouse or partner when it comes to managing their children’s schedule and activities. And while many fathers (53%) concede that the mom in their household does more of this than they do, dads are much more likely than moms to say this responsibility is shared equally”.

In closing, I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career. I am truly honored to represent women in the outdoor and active lifestyle markets who work long hours, weekends, time away from family, sleepless nights – all because we are passionate women who love this industry.

– Ladyhawk

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