President's Message

Even though I have not been in school in many years, September to me always represents a new beginning. Elizabeth Acevedo says it quite eloquently: “Probably because the majority of my life has revolved … around the school calendar, autumn always feels like the beginning of the year; an opportunity to analyze past actions; to decide to forge a new path. That duality, of being on a precipice where you can return or move forward, or do both at the same time…” I choose to move forward; what about you?

September also starts with Labor Day (dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, it constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country)–a holiday uniquely relevant to BPW’s mission. Women represent 47% of the workforce, holding 40% of management positions but only 21% of senior positions. There are few positions closed to women these days but that does not mean there is equity–in pay, in opportunities or in advancement. The amazing news this year is the number of women who are running for political office. Some of those races were decided on August 28; the rest will be decided in the November elections. Two of our upcoming luncheon programs focus on the political arena: voting and cyber security (9/6) and the Florida constitutional amendments (10/4).

Thank you to Lily Alcott and Amy Dinovo for another amazing Equality Day Tea on August 25. The program, the food and the conviviality made for a wonderful afternoon, highlighted by the Women’s History Bingo game created by Amy. We had members from St. Petersburg Pinellas and Hernando County as well as many guests. The sisterhood that was displayed was amazing.

Sheila Barry-Oliver, Ed.D.
BPW/SPP President 2018-2019