Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Women of HART: The HART Board

The women of the HART Board
As we wrap up our "Celebration of Women" tribute to the many women at HART who keep this agency moving, we wanted to recognize the women on the HART Board of Directors.

March is Women's History Month, an observance that grew out of a week-long celebration of women's contributions to culture, history and society. Meanwhile, International Women's Day, the global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women dates, back to 1911.

In the spirit of Susan B. Anthony, local women are working in all levels of the public, private, and political sectors. Their work serves as an inspiration and beacon of hope for girls and women across our area.

This year, in honor of Women's History Month, we're highlighting our HART Women Board Members whose professional expertise, public service and integrity, help make our work at HART possible.

City of Temple Terrace Councilwoman Cheri Donohue, Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, and Chair of Ground Works Solutions, Inc. Kathleen Shanahan. 

This acknowledgement provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of these distinguished women in our community and society.

Below, our HART Women Board Members share their thoughts on female leadership, empowering young women and what Women's History Month means to them. Here's what they had to say:

What does Women's History Month mean to you?| 

Councilwoman Donohue
"It's not that women weren't contributing all along - it's just that their work was considered "supportive" - until we started to recognize the many ways mankind benefited from those "background" accomplishments. Setting aside a month to focus on the contributions women have and are making helps pave the way for the day-to-day realization of female abilities."

- City of Temple Terrace Councilwoman Cheri Donohue

Commissioner Murman
"Women's History Month is a month where we remember those women who have come before us, that paved the way, so we could have the opportunity to make positive contributions and impact the future for our communities that we live in.  I can thank so many women before me who laid the foundation in the legislative process, when I was a state legislator. The "first" women who served on the City Council, County Commission, the State House and State Senate, accomplished so much and earned a respected leadership role.

Even though we still face challenges today, we always should remember to support the women next to us, and the women who are coming up behind us - together we can build a strong network that will advocate, advise, and give access to appointments and interests. The Hillsborough County Commission on the Status of Women is a perfect example of women leaders throughout the community, who come together to help each other and recognize the success of past leaders.  History is being made every day by women!"

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, District 1, BOCC Chair

Commissioner Kemp
"We need to know and understand our past to know and understand our present and make the best decisions we can. We need to recognize the courage, persistence and leadership of the women before us. We stand on their achievements."

Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, District 6, Countywide


Why is it so important to see female leadership in local office?

"Women and girls are half of our population. Our elected representatives should reflect our population and our diversity. Women bring a new and different perspective to decision making because our life experiences are different than men."

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, District 6, Countywide

"It's hard to see clearly with one eye closed so why leave the work of governing to one gender? While I don't think we can make assumptions as to "who" makes the best leaders, I do believe women play an important balance to the men who serve."

- City of Temple Terrace Councilwoman Cheri Donohue

"It is important to see female leaders in office so that women know that they have the opportunity to serve in public office, to further their interests on issues that are important to them, like education and safety of our children.  Seeing us as role models, and showing potential women they can run for office and win, is important to build their confidence, so that they can participate in leading our local government.

When women lead locally, they are showing how their leadership can be very effective in getting something accomplished and leading by example, to gather successful people around them.  When they serve on boards and committees, and are elected to seats on the City Council or the County Commission, they gain experience that will not only benefit the community, but they can take that experience and put it to work to run for higher office at the state and federal level.  Women are underrepresented at all levels of government and in the board rooms.  Current statistics say we have fewer than 3% of women in the boardrooms and about 25% of women in local, state, and federal office. It is important for elected women to help other women improve these statistics."

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, District 1, BOCC Chair

How do you empower young women?

"By example, encouragement and mentoring."

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, District 6, Countywide

"I've never believed it was beneficial to tear down boys to elevate girls. Listen. Engage. Challenge. All of these actions build the people we need to lead the world - both men and women."
- City of Temple Terrace Councilwoman Cheri Donohue 

"We empower young women by being supportive of them, by mentoring and helping them to develop their potential.  It is as simple as listening and understanding and believing in their story, to show them how they can use that “story” to make an impact in the community, in areas where they have collective interests.  There is something out there for everyone! Help one another to seek it out or create it!"

- Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, District 1, BOCC Chair
HART believes that having strong female representation in its workforce sets a good example for other organizations and industries. We salute all the women at HART. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication every day.