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Women Who Run and Won – Importance of Women in Leadership Roles

February 14, 2017

 Holding a position in a political office is common place for men. But what about women? Unfortunately, women are far less likely to win and hold political office positions. According to Rutger’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), women hold 19-25% of seats across each level of office in the US Government[1]. However, there are several elected women here in Florida who are ready to shake up the norm.

On January 31, 2017, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosted four newly elected women on the Women Who Run and Won panel. The luncheon and subsequent panel was sponsored by Sabal Trust Company. The women who comprised the panel were Lynn Gray, Pat Kemp, Jackie Toledo, and Tamara Shamburger.

Susan Brennan, Managing Principal for Sabal Trust’s Tampa office, shared her history as an elected official before the event began. Susan was the City Commissioner in Grand Rapids, MI where she used her approachable demeanor to stand out and gain trust. She wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that garnered attention and showed citizens that she was an avenue for their voices to be heard.

Each woman on the panel had the opportunity to answer questions about their positions. Jackie Toledo shared that she was fully committed to her position and that her full commitment was the only way she would be able to succeed. On top of that, Jackie still manages to make time for her family. The other women harped on that subject noting that they all juggled their positions with family better than most men can. All four women also expressed that they would like to see an increase in public transportation. From more accessible bus systems to better bike and walking trails, they shared the same sentiments.

After the event, I spoke with Susan Brennan about the importance of women being in leadership roles. Susan explained, “I believe that women are exceptional leaders because they are, as the panel noted, great at multitasking. They run the household, and often a job on top of that, yet they find a way to make it work. Women are sorely underrepresented in political leadership. The importance of sponsoring a panel like this is to get the word out and to inspire future women to get involved.”

Learn more about the sponsor, Sabal Trust Company, by visiting their website!


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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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