Celebrating Women’s Suffrage on Long Island

I attended an inspiring event for women recently, hosted by the Women’s Collaborative of the Long Island Association (LIA). The evening gathering at the Crest Hollow Country Club celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State.

Author Gloria Feldt, striking the Wonder Woman pose, with the LIA Women's Collaborative.

Author Gloria Feldt, striking the Wonder Woman pose, with the LIA Women’s Collaborative.

Our state gave women the right to vote in 1917 – three years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment made women’s right to vote the law of the land. Barbara Williams, the executive director of the New York State Women’s Suffrage Commission told us they will spend the next three years celebrating what women have accomplished and inspiring younger women to keep up the fight for complete equality.

Along those lines, our keynote speaker at the Women’s Collaborative event was feminist author Gloria Feldt, who pointed out that in 2010, the gender balance in the workforce equalized, and women now earn 57% of college degrees. Yet there is still a 20% pay gap between men and women, and women make up less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs. The speaker also retold some stories of the original suffragists, pointing out their differing political tactics and leadership styles.

It was a beautiful summer evening for the almost 300 attendees.

It was a beautiful summer evening for the almost 300 attendees.

Feldt argues in her book, “No Excuses” that the most confounding problem facing women today isn’t that doors of opportunity aren’t open, but that not enough women are walking through them. She encourages them to embrace the power they have to lead, through a series of leadership power tools.

I serve on the executive committee of the LIA and the Women’s Collaborative is a favorite of mine — because it presents opportunities for the advancement of professional women. As such, I was happy to donate “suffragette” style necklaces as raffle prizes to the event.

Here I am congratulating the winners of the raffle at the Women's Collaborative event: Karen Holm of Wells Fargo and Lauren Candela of T. Weiss Realty Corp.

Here I am congratulating the winners of the raffle at the Women’s Collaborative event: Karen Holm of Wells Fargo and Lauren Candela of T. Weiss Realty Corp.

Congratulations to Karen Holm of Wells Fargo and Lauren Candela of T. Weiss Realty Corp. who won! Thanks also to Ivy Algazy, CEO of the Ivy Network and executive director of the Women’s Collaborative, for the great photos, and for all her hard work on behalf of the Collaborative. Joy Fernandez, office managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP (EY) Long Island; and Cheryl Korman, partner at Rivkin Radler, put together great events!

Happy summer, everyone!

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