The Secret of Empowerment
“I feel empowered when I am reminded that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.” - Lisa
“I feel empowered when I see young, women of colour succeeding in the spaces that they take up.” - Tinetariro
“I feel empowered when I see people treating others well.” – Wesley
“I feel empowered by the growth of characters in novels and films.” - Matthew
What makes you feel empowered?
It has always been a dream of mine to be a corporate leader. I am only 19 years old, there is a lot of learning still to be done and a lot more knowledge to be acquired. I remember the first time I wrote those words on paper, telling it to my friends – it sounded idealistic then. A couple of years later, a black African woman was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of PriceWaterhouse Coopers South Africa for the first time since the founding of this corporate giant.
The news of her appointment sealed my dream, I felt as if the universe had declared the mere thought of me seating at the head of a table, leading a team of board of directors in a globally operating organisation, a done deal. Let me explain the thought process here: someone who looks like me, being both black African and female did it, I can do it.
According to the Congressional Research Service (2020), since the end of the second world war, the United States of America has played a fundamental role in shaping societal progression including the promotion of freedom, democracy and human rights amongst many other issues. They certainly have not done this on their own and many other nations can be accrediated.
For the first time since its independence, America will have its first woman vice president who is both black and Asian American. Kamala Harris’ appointment is one that will serve not only as a message to those who believe that she cannot fulfil the responsibilities of the said role because of her gender or skin colour, but it will most importantly act as movement for empowerment. Young women all
over the globe can aspire to take up spaces and make a meaningful impact in the things they are passionate about.
Sonia Sotomayor summed it up really well when she said these words, “...But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, Yes, someone like me can do this.”