Toastmasters Highlights Five Inspirational Females on International Women’s Day
International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 each year to honor the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality, which Toastmasters International is a proud champion of. Women hold prominent positions throughout the organization, and currently – for the first time in Toastmasters’ 98-year history – the majority of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee is female.
“No matter where you go in the world, you’ll notice one common denominator: Women are the glue that holds society together,” says Margaret Page, of British Columbia, Canada, Toastmasters’ 2021-22 International President. ”We are the networkers, the organizers, the hand holders, the community builders. In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to shift focus back on ourselves by recognizing and reflecting on our talents and achievements. We bring out the best in the world and we have the power to bring out the best in ourselves, too.”
With International Women's Day occurring March 8, Toastmasters honors these five inspirational females from around the world:
Farzana Chohan is an architect, author, and organizational leadership expert in Missouri. Through her thought leadership, public speaking, and consulting engagements, she’s active in a variety of women-empowering endeavors, including Leadership IN Women, an advocacy initiative to raise awareness of women leaders in non-traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.
Allison Coffin, Ph.D., is an associate professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience at Washington State University, in Vancouver, Wash. Coffin is also a founder of Science Talk, a nonprofit organization for science communicators. Its focus is to support professional science communicators and increase awareness of the impact of science on society.
Nirmala Lilly is the president and CEO of India-based Infinity Hospitality Services, a firm specializing in tourism industry consultancy and training. Lilly ardently believes in mentoring and leads her state’s chapter of the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry, a nonprofit that advocates for women by pressing for policy change, fostering networks, and offering business development assistance.
Patricia Mensah-Larkai is an administrator for the Ghana Border Commission, which manages the country’s internal and international boundaries. She also serves as the city of Accra’s governor for World Speech Day, giving the opportunity for unexpected voices to be heard. The event celebrates live public speaking activities every year in more than 100 countries.
Arlyne Simon, Ph.D., is a platform architect in Intel’s Health and Life Science group and a biomedical engineer by training. Through her education startup, Abby Invents, the Oregon woman creates science-oriented picture books and other materials to inspire young students to create inventions. Abby Invents has been praised by Purdue University, Science magazine, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
For more information on these five women and their achievements, read Ruth Nasrullah’s “International Women Have Their Day” in the Toastmaster magazine.
On March 8, Toastmasters is hosting Celebrating Women in Leadership, a free webinar in honor of International Women’s Day. The webinar will feature three inspiring female leaders as panelists and will be moderated by Verity Price, a South African woman who is the 2021 Toastmasters’ World Champion of Public Speaking. Click here to register for the webinar.