Syd Gibson, President

We welcome in the new decade of 2020 with exciting events in the upcoming months beginning in February with American Heart Month. Traditionally, February is the month for lovers and all things heart related. February 1st is National Wear Red Day to bring awareness about heart disease. Heart disease is often associated with men, but cardiovascular disease if the number one killer of women.

On March 8th we celebrate women's achievements throughout history internationally. In past years, our Local Organization has dedicated part of the March program to present a brief biography of one's favorite woman in history and even dress as they did to bring awareness of their accomplishments. March 31st is known as Equal Pay Day for 2020 which means women must work until that day to earn the same amount of money that men received in 2019. Last year, Equal Pay Day was April 2nd. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to have true equality in the workplace.

In June, BPW will hold it's annual State Conference to be held in Wesley Chapel at the Saddlebrook Resort which is about 90 miles North of us. Continuation of BPW's One Hundred Year Celebration will occur in addition to election of new Officers, seminars, business meetings and an excellent time to meet and greet other Beautiful Professional Women living in other parts of Florida. You may want to come before the conference begins on June 11th or stay after the 14th at the discounted hotel rates.

debra straw portrait

Debra Straw, Membership Chair

Thank you to all who have helped with the statewide membership drive. I am very pleased to announce that we have 4 new members - so far...

Welcome to Carol DeGulis, Dr. Karen Helmick, Sue Hogrefe, and Karla Olson. We are very excited to have these four dynamic women as a part of BPW Englewood/Venice!

We will hold a new member induction ceremony at our meeting on January 21st, so plan to be there.

Cynthia Fredricks

Cynthia Fredricks, Public Policy Chair

Women's rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment. Yet many women still struggle to break the glass ceiling because of unequal treatment in society. According to a recent study done by WalletHub.com, we still have a long way to go.

In 2018, the U.S. failed to place in the top 10 - or even the top 40 - of the World Economic Forum's ranking of 149 countries based on gender equality. In fact, the U.S. dropped to 51st position from its previous rank 49th.

The workplace provides even more evidence of the issue. Despite their advances toward social equality, women are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions. Women make up more than 50% of the population. According to the American Association of University Women, women only constitute 25% of legislators and less than 29% of business executives.

Apart from unequal representation in executive leadership, salary inequity has been central to the gender-gap debate. Few experts dispute an earnings gap between women and men, but there's disagreement when it comes to the proper method of measuring that disparity. The fact remains, however, that nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers across the country are female, according to the National Women's Law Center. 

In next month's newsletter I'll share information from this study specific to where Florida ranks among the United States.

Syd Gibson, President

We all struggle with believing that giving is better than getting. We love the security of having things beginning in our childhood with having the best and most toys and continues into adulthood. We are addicted to the emotional boost of buying something new economically. Non-economic forms of giving such as giving encouragement, attention and compliments can also be better to give than receive.

In a 2002 survey by the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey, it was found 43% of people who gave blood two or three times a year were very happy as opposed to 29% who did not.

The journal Health Psychology published a study in 2012 that found people who regularly volunteer live longer. If you volunteered for any reason beyond the joy of giving, it did not have the same long term benefits as giving unselfishly. Giving also helps combat depression.

The "pay it forward" idea isn't a myth. It is a fact that when people experience a generous kindness, they are more apt to treat others with the same sort of benevolence. Cooperative behavior is infectious and spreads through social networks.

Giving increases our confidence by focusing on others and not on self. It is important to have a strong sense of self-awareness, but that inner voice can be a constant force for criticism and negativity. Being generous changes where we place the spotlight and gives our brain a positive argument for why we are not a bad person.

When you are a genuinely generous person, people find you trustworthy and kind and like-able. Isn't that what we should be focusing on not just this time of year, but year round?

2019 scholarship recipients
l to r: Esther Bird - Scholarship Committee, Allison Hinshaw, Christine Pomerleau, Oksana Zimin, Stacey Chaisson - Scholarship recipients, Katie Malloy, Natalie Bloom, Carol Kouba, Karin Drury, Scholarship Committee

Four lucky ladies were awarded the Business and Professional Women of Englewood and Venice (BPWEV) Christine Davis Memorial Adult Learner Scholarships in the amount of $1,000.00 each this year. They are Allison Hinshaw, Christine Pomerleau, Oksana Zimin,and Stacey Chaisson. Two are attending State College of Florida, two Florida International University. Their field of study varies from nursing, to early childhood education to school administration. Recipients have to either reside in Sarasota or Charlotte County. The BPWEV members worked hard raising the money for these scholarships through several fundraisers, the annual Wine tasting/Auction and a Hats off to Women Workshop being the most popular ones. BPWEV meet every third Tuesday of each month at the Left Coast Seafood Restaurant in Venice.

The public is invited to all meetings. The mission of BPWEV is: “To achieve equity for all women through Advocacy, Education and Information."

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Business & Professional Women of Englewood and Venice
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