I have a ring on my finger that I never take off. It’s a simple round gold band.
I fidget it with it when I am thinking during a meeting. I look down at it when I need the motivation to dig deeper. It reminds me that when you put yourself in the middle, every vantage point has an equal perspective. Or as I commonly say, even round mushrooms have sides. (Thank you Alice in Wonderland.)
It belonged to my great-great-grandmother. She was born in another country. She made the brave journey to America with her young daughter. The ship dropped them into the disease-ridden filthy stalls of Ellis Island where they waited for days to be released. That’s where her work to build a new life began.
Over the years, the wedding band was passed down from granddaughter to granddaughter. Five generations later, it also stands as a reminder to me that I didn’t get here alone.
While I know my great-great-grandmother could never have imagined that I would one day wear her ring, or that I would be writing about it on something called the internet, I do instinctively know in my heart she hoped for it.
I know that because she left everything she knew in search of a better place to live. She built a bridge for generations to come and I can only aspire to do the same.
As we barrel full speed ahead towards 2020, 75 days from now to be exact, we have an opportunity to stand together for our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, and friends to build #herbridge.
And we don’t even have to leave home to do it. We can harness technology and use our social purpose powers for good. We can highlight each other’s achievements, donate work clothes to women’s shelters, or be a support system for each other. As professional women, we can build her bridge by encouraging and helping each other.
We can be a positive voice inside each other’s heads. We can tell women everywhere they are valued. Every single day we can make a phone call, send a text message or an email and lift up a daughter, a friend, a sister, or even a competitor in our field.
If we build her bridge as strong as my great-great-grandma built mine, I’m living proof she can have a better tomorrow.