On Wednesday, The Sheridan Press featured an article that drew parallels between women of Wyoming’s past to women of Wyoming’s present. Many of our state’s movers and shakers are women who blazed trails for the rest of us.
What was fun for me, in particular, was watching our reporter Chelsea Coli reach out to women across the state to conduct interviews for the article. Each woman she spoke with, it seemed, recommended another woman worthy of recognition. Of course, each of them could not be discussed in the article, but the instinct the individuals had to share the spotlight made me smile.
In another example of people celebrating women, I soaked in the newsfeed of Facebook on Wednesday. The day, which was celebrated by many as International Women’s Day, prompted many of the people I follow on social media to share photos of or news articles about the women they look up to. It was so much fun to learn about all of these amazing people in our world.
I understand that not everyone supports International Women’s Day. That’s their choice. After all, many say, we have no International Men’s Day. We all choose to celebrate and act on different passions. That diversity of thought is what makes us so strong, though it may feel like it is also what divides us some days.
As The Sheridan Press and the committee organizing the event prepares for the fifth annual FAB (For. About. By.) Women’s Conference on April 28, I look forward to reading about the wonderful women in our community. The nominations for the FAB Woman of the Year award are due March 24 — just two weeks away. Each year, a diverse set of women have their names submitted to be considered. They have included nonprofit leaders, mothers, young professionals and business owners. Some fell into a combination of those categories while others stood outside them. All were worthy of our admiration.
I’ve had people ask me, why a women’s conference? My initial reaction is “why not?” But the root of that question has often revolved around another, “Why single out one subset of individuals in our community for recognition?” In other words, why not just a “Sheridan County Person of the Year” award?
I often respond to the inquiry by referencing a number of groups that focus on one cause or another and pointing out that by narrowing our focus, we can better serve an audience. It’s the same reason groups like political parties, nonprofit organizations, businesses and events often market themselves toward a particular group of individuals. Narrowing your focus helps you tackle issues or promote causes that are simply massive.
As one of our CiViC Leadership Program trainers said repeatedly, you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time.