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Women’s Health Care Access in Utah In September of 2017 the Utah Women and Leadership Project with the YWCA of Utah identified gaps and strategies to increase Utah women’s access to health care.

Utah women’s access to health care is consistently sighted as a barrier for women in terms of advancing their careers and lifestyle. Access to health care influences the economy at large.  Access to healthcare is linked with socio-economic status and disproportionately affects women. Utah thought leaders came together to establish potential steps to change the status of unpaid care work. What follows are their recommendations organized by category. See the comprehensive list here. Clearly, there is much we can do.

Financial incentives and support
  • Medicaid can de-bundle services, which means  billing and reimbursement issues are less complicated or more flexible.
  • Utah need to more Community Health Worker certifications in order to get reimbursed, that way services can be sustainable.
  • Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement is critical for these services to be more widely available in Utah.
  • Utah need to provide better ongoing coverage system for low- income mothers, especially after a child is born.
  • Full expansion of traditional Medicaid is needed, which would help lower income households.
  • Contraceptive care should be covered for low-income women. Medicaid expansion through family planning waiver or State Plan Amendment is needed to do this.
  • Overall, there is a need to increase coverage options and decrease cost for all Utahans;
Technology Infrastructure
  • We need to continue to support and grow telemedicine/telehealth services generally to increase Utah women’s access to healthcare in rural areas.
  • Implement evidence-based programs through these telemedicine/telehealth services; online access to these programs is critical moving forward.
  • We can increase education for providers to adopt telehealth technologies.
  • Let’s bring healthcare systems to the table to discuss possible approaches for connecting medical records in a way that does not threaten patient confidentiality. Although this is a complex issue, there is a possibility for progress here.
Creation of economic opportunity
  • We can focus on wellness for the whole family helps create economic opportunity.
Capacity and capability building
  • California has  “health for everyone” (CA Senate Bill 562) and includes the undocumented population. This is a great start and model Utah should use as a model.   In addition, California and 8 other states cover all children regardless of documentation status. Utah has the highest rate of uninsured Latino children in the nation. We should use other states as examples when increasing Utah women’s access to health care.
  • The SUPeRAD Prenatal Specialty Clinic in South Jordan provides specialty prenatal care for pregnant women who use substances. Recreating their model elsewhere can improve pregnancy and birth outcomes. Offers Naloxone training for community with free kits.
  • Providers need to offer best practice services. For providers to understand best practices, more continued education is necessary
Community
  • Community Health Workers can be a critical piece of preventative healthcare and support, but they need to be eligible for reimbursement to be sustainable.
  • The relationship between Community Health Workers and Health Educators within healthcare systems has room for improvement.
  • Create a comprehensive referral system so that Community Health Workers can make sure people get care when needed. These workers provide information, resources, peer support, and referrals for actual healthcare – referrals are key and we need a better system.
  • Need co-location of services; a mother needs to be able to get services when she brings her children to get care. Convenience is key for mothers, whether they work outside of the home or not. Need moms to be screened when kids see the pediatrician. Providers must be equipped to do this, have capacity for it, and have good referral systems.
  • Increasing and building integration of mental and physical healthcare is critical.
  • There tends to be a lack of transparency when it comes to healthcare information. Healthcare providers should present women with all of the information regarding their metal and physical health. Women tend to see a lot of different doctors for different things, perhaps it could be more coordinated.
Advocacy and shaping attitudes
  • Need to now implement Family Planning Elevated (expansion of HER Salt Lake Contraceptive Initiative). The hope is that this starts to normalize preventative healthcare that impacts women down the road (not just during reproductive years) and with health issues unrelated to reproductive healthcare.
  • Increase public education to reduce shame and stigma around postpartum depression and related issues, and the same with mental health and substance use issues.
  • Related campaign needed around taking care of mom = taking care of baby/children/family. Not selfish for women to take care of themselves.
  • Need to shape messaging so we aren’t silo-ing issues. Need “poster children” for these issues in order to make it real for people, funders, and policymakers. Focus on how these issues integrate/overlap in one person or family’s life and paint that picture more effectively.
Awareness
  • Also need to frame issues as “family issues.”
  • Perhaps the Intergenerational Poverty (IGP) framework is another approach (problem, however, is that the state’s IGP definition excludes immigrants and refugees).
  • Increase involvement from men. Fathers need to know who the pediatrician is. Women often overseeing men’s healthcare too – they carry a lot of the burden for whole family’s care. Social media campaign around this.
  • Basic awareness and healthcare system education is necessary. Especially when identifying the relationship between mental and physical health.
  • Perhaps Department of Health can expand their public awareness and education efforts to include some of these other things – its focus is on women being as healthy as they can before getting pregnant or between pregnancies.
  • We need to include domestic and sexual violence information in all of these efforts. These issues are all interconnected and people don’t always recognize that – need providers to ask questions and raise awareness.
  • Apps can help educate people.
  • Focus on wellness and holistic approach for the whole family.
Laws, policies, regulations
  • Pass a full Medicaid expansion bill in Utah.
  • Pass Representative Ward’s family planning bill during the 2018 Regular Session.
  • Need people working on different issues to work together to present a comprehensive case/picture to legislators rather than competing on individual line items. Coordinated Health related editorials before and during the legislative session to enhance constituent knowledge of the issues. Consider a mandate for providers to provide data to CHIE.
  • Re-engage efforts to adopt national network adequacy standards in Utah.
Research and data
  • Single payer system allows other countries to look at data across providers and across the patient’s life span.
  • Funding to increase the size of various surveys helps with sample sizes and data analysis capabilities.
  • Link UPDB to UDS (if possible) because we’re missing some of the most vulnerable and underserved populations in the UPDB data.
  • More generally, UDS data could be a source for future research.

As a result, there are potential actions any citizen can take regardless of professional position, education level or socio-economic status. To learn more about what you can do to effect unpaid care work in Utah read the entire impact report, or our health related research snapshots.

You may also like:

When do Utah Women Struggle Most with Confidence and What can We do to Help?

Utah Women, Poverty and Education

Economic Benefits for Women Completing College

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Gender Wage Gap in Utah In June of 2017 the Utah Women and Leadership Project with YWCA met with thought leaders in Utah to discuss the gender wage gap in Utah and identify strategies to move toward equitable pay for all genders.

The gender wage gap in Utah ranks 4th largest in the nation. Local thought leaders and influencers came together to discuss the gender wage gap in Utah and identify possible steps to minimize it. The Utah Women and Leadership Project then published a research snapshot with a more in depth look at the gender wage gap in Utah compared to the nation. What follows are their recommendations, organized by category. To see all gaps, challenges and participants of the discussion please see the full impact recommendations report.

Financial Incentives and support
  • First, Talk more about value of companies coming in about gender equity, not just about number of jobs coming in.
  • In addition, increase awareness of the gender wage gap to organizations/entities in all sectors (e.g., business, nonprofit, government, education)
  • Develop resources that help organizations understand interventions that could be taken to address these issues.
Technology Infrastructure
  • Continue to develop and strengthen these websites to include more nuances of compensation and improve the accuracy and clarity of the pay in Utah.
Creation of Economic Opportunity
  • Another need is to focus many efforts on less educated women and how this impacts their families more.
  • Promoting certifications and other training that lead to higher paying jobs is important too—in addition to associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees.
  • Make sure we’re focusing on natural sciences in STEM, not just tech; increase awareness of all of the options women can choose to major in college. Focus on management training as well.
  • Young people need more awareness and education about reality of economic life.
Capacity Building
  • Develop pool of stories in order to amplify voices and demonstrate that the problem exists.
  • Highlight/promote companies that are doing well.
  • Companies/orgs/agencies helping each other address these issues (e.g., differentials in raises, training)
  • Training and education for employers.
  • Especially relevant is the need for skill- and confidence-building for women.
  • Tap into businesses’ need for more skilled applicants/employees.
  • More work with school counselors/parents, which would consequently get women in non-traditional careers, which usually leads to higher pay.
  • Culture change in occupations that are hostile toward women; can’t just get more women in these careers, as industry needs to adapt so that women are retained in these positions.
  • Raise awareness and provide training regarding the need for women to support and mentor each other.
  • More school counselors need to be hired in general.
  • Real education of young people on financial consequences because of education and/or career decisions.
  • Create support groups for women in nontraditional occupations.
Advocacy and Shaping Attitudes
  • More education and awareness statewide, because employees need to know their rights and obligations.
  • Educate women on the labor market value of their work.
  • In addition, there should be more empowerment for women in making different choices, negotiating, and advocating for themselves.
  • Training and education for employers around attitudes about gender roles, unconscious bias, etc.
  • Education and unconscious bias training for school counselors and how they direct children.
  • Change the conversation – because if it’s truly a free market, commodity of the worker in what they return to the economy regardless of identity, personal circumstances, etc. [need Carrie to articulate in a one-pager, and we need to all “sing off the same song sheet.”]
  • Document stories to illustrate the issues, this is a way to get skeptics on board.
  • Culture change in non-traditional occupations for women, this will consequentially decrease hostility and increase.
Laws, policies and regulations
  • Seems like sometimes we need to be careful with changing statute because they are able to address issues with case law; changing code can have unintended consequences.
  • Utah Women’s Coalition (UWC) is working with Rep. Edwards on a bill to lower threshold from 15 to 5 employees (compliance with anti- discrimination law).
  • Change conversation toward conservative policy argument, because if it’s truly a free market, commodity of the worker in what they return to the economy regardless of identity, personal circumstances, etc.; messaging is important.
  • There seems to be a need for stories to connect it to real people and create empathy; we can develop unexpected allies. UWC able to collect 200 on FMLA. Better utilize online tools to collect those stories.
  • Think strategically about the messenger on this issue to be persuasive.
  • Sophisticated messaging strategy to really lead change on this issue is needed.
  • Additionally, explore if Sen. Anderegg or anyone else is running a bill this session.
  • Support groups for those accessing legal remedies.
Research and data
  • State agency specific information on extent of gap and how to address (Sen. Escamilla’s bill).
  • Information/data needs to be collected on what is happening in all states and what interventions seem to be working within companies, especially relevant is state and local governments (all sectors), and in terms of legislation, policy, and practices.
  • Additionally, investigate the possibility of research using data from the new Utah Data Research Center.

As a result, there are potential actions any citizen can take regardless of professional position, education level or socio-economic status. To learn more about what you can do to help change the gender wage gap in Utah, or to see detailed statistics on how Utah stacks up to the nation read our wage gap research snap shot or the full impact recommendation report.

You may also like:

Investing in Women is Investing in the Economy 

Equal means Equal: closing your own pay gap

High Paying Opportunities for Women in STEM

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Unpaid care work in Utah primarily affects women. In the fall of 2017 the Utah Women and Leadership Program with the YWCA of Utah identified gaps and strategies to combat unpaid care work in Utah.

Unpaid care work in Utah was disscussed after the release of a research snapshot title Unpaid Care Work Among Utah Women. The snapshot details shocking statics that demonstrate the amount of time and work that women perform entirely unpaid. Thought leaders came together to establish potential steps to change the status of unpaid care work. What follows are their recommendations organized by category. See the comprehensive list here. Clearly, there is much to be done.

Financial incentives and support
  • Explore elder care costs as eligible for flex plans, without requiring that the person be a legal dependent.
  • Explore a similar tax credit to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for elder care, again without requiring legal dependence.
  • Work to eliminate taxes on social security benefits.
  • Extend retirement income tax credit for next generation of retirees (current AARP policy priority). This is a highly needed source of tax relief.
  • Have hospitals provide support resources to caregivers who give care for elderly individuals. Same with pediatricians providing information and resources to parents.
  • Explore incentives to support “aging- in-place” initiatives that incorporate quality home-based care services.
  • Continue to explore potential flexibilities in state interpretation of federal Medicaid regulations that might benefit caregivers by benefiting the elders and others they care for.
Technology Infrastructure
  • Ensure that Telehealth uniformity becomes the standard for all insurers.
  • Develop training and support for caregivers through apps, social media, and other online sources.
Creation of economic opportunity
  • Especially relevant is the need to value care more.
  • Expand respite provision – there are economic/business opportunities in this area.
  • Perhaps family members who provide care could receive payment, exploring these options.
  • Ensure quality and safety standards for adult daycare and other caregiving services.
Capacity building
  • Develop online caregiving classes and support groups. This could be developed through apps, social media, and online.
  • There needs resources for men to understand the importance of caregiving.
Advocacy and shaping attitudes
  • While there is some awareness on this issue, there is a need to increase public awareness and to reframe caregiving as valuable for the whole family and communities,
  • Additionally, there is a need to teach that caregiving is not a gendered role or issue.
  • Need resources for men to both understand the importance of caregiving, as well as increase the social acceptance of men providing care.
  • Focus on workplace culture and attitudes that support taking paid leave and other caregiving options when they are available.
  • Use social media – perhaps an “I share” campaign around men’s involvement in caregiving and household work. Need to help Utah “catch up” with some of the national trends on men and women sharing caregiving and other household work.
  • Touch points for increasing public awareness – schools, pediatricians, senior centers, and faith communities.
Laws, policies, regulations
  • Pursue work-family leave policies that provide flexibility for caregivers who want/need to keep their job.
  • Explore businesses/companies that are being innovative and creating policies/practices to support caregivers. Encourage more strategic thinking around these issues in workplaces.
  • Create economic/tax incentives for innovative businesses.
Research and data
  • Researchers partner with organizations to help pilot interventions and make their programs more effective. They need to show outcomes and evidence, so scholars and practitioners need to come together.

As a result, there are potential actions any citizen can take regardless of professional position, education level or socio-economic status. To learn more about what you can do to effect unpaid care work in Utah and read the full list of gaps, challenges and impact recommendations see our snapshot on unpaid care work in Utah.

You may also like:

Investing in Women in Investing in the Economy 

Educated Woman of the Month Jenny McCulloch, a story as a working mom

What can we do to help more girls and women strengthen their confidence?

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The Utah educated women blogs are an effort to shine the spotlight on incredible women around the state, the Utah Women and Leadership Project is selecting one woman per month to be featured here and all of our social media platforms.  These inspiring women come from all walks of life.  They’re mothers, entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, teachers, students.  Their stories here are meant give public recognition for their hard work and provide a relatable story for you, our reader.

This month’s Utah educated women is Jenny McCulloch of Springville, Utah. Jenny’s passion for education started when she was a young student, volunteering in classrooms and preschools for kids with disabilities. Jenny also worked in Title 1 schools as an adult, teaching children with special needs. Upon graduating in 2005 from BYU with a B.S. in Family Life with an emphasis in Human Development, she declared herself retired and became a stay at home mom to her toddler and newborn.

Ten years and two more kids later, Jenny re-entered the workforce as a copywriter and content manager in the marketing department of a private company. Her work focused on social engagement, brand messaging, online and print content development, and writing catalog copy.  She is currently learning as much as she can about women’s issues and education on a local and global scale while planning her next move.

Interview

UWLP: How did you know or decide your current career path?

Jenny: I had a pretty clear life plan until I was a married, pregnant college student on bed rest, unable to complete the student teaching requirement of my education degree. I changed my major to Family Life and graduated that semester, intending to go to graduate school and sort it out later. Between personal blogging and helping my self-employed husband start his career, writing and marketing had become my qualifications. I took a job with flexible hours that I could work from home. After teaching in some paid or unpaid capacity for over 2 decades, my plan was to start working part-time to get my feet wet and eventually teach full time in my local school district.

UWLP: How have your career passions changed and how did you manage those changes?

Jenny: As Sheryl Sandberg says, “careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” My favorite part of my job turned out to be connecting with other women and helping them find their voice in the workplace, advocating for better pay and better jobs. I was surprised to realize that I didn’t want to go back to the classroom setting. I want to use marketing and social engagement skills I’ve gained to help teach and advocate for women.

UWLP: Briefly tell us about your life outside school/work

Jenny: I love to read and I love the outdoors, so I like to spend as much time as I can outside reading.  My husband and I have 4 active children that we’ve conditioned to think sleeping in the dirt is the best ever. We’re coming off a challenging year for our family, so this school year I’m homeschooling our children so we can spend more time traveling, camping, and creating positive memories while they are still young enough to want to hang out together.

“Make yourself heard and seen. When I was teaching a hard to wrangle class I started wearing a bright lipstick or loud tights so they’d at least get into the habit of looking my direction when I was speaking. The same applies to your work. Figure out how to make yourself seen.”

UWLP: What has your experience been like being a woman/mother in your chosen field?

Jenny: I have had both wonderful and terrible experiences. I had to hide my first pregnancy to get a job working at a school, but once I was there my employers were very supportive as I sorted out my maternity leave. When I began working in marketing, my boss was a woman. She allowed me flexibility and let me bring my preschooler to the office on occasion. I also unfortunately witnessed and experienced overt sexism in the company culture, which negatively affected how I and other women were promoted, compensated, and treated. That experience helped fuel my desire to advocate for women.

UWLP: What advice would you give to women starting out in your same career field?

Jenny: I wish I could give out cat posters with Hamilton song lyrics to inspire and motivate you all!  For women graduating in education or the social sciences, get work experience. If you plan on taking a break to raise children, get work experience.  I cannot reiterate this enough. It is so much easier to ask for flexibility once you’ve established yourself in some way. Any experience is better than no experience.  Network and find a mentor. Take someone to lunch and pick their brain, or tag along to a lunch and soak it all in.

I would also say, don’t undervalue or undersell yourself on resumes or in conversation. You’re more talented and more qualified than you realize, you’re just not in the habit of selling yourself. Do it.

Lastly, make yourself heard and seen. When I was teaching a hard to wrangle class I started wearing a bright lipstick or loud tights so they’d at least get into the habit of looking my direction when I was speaking. The same applies to your work. Figure out how to make yourself seen.

Who inspires you? Submit your nomination for a Utah educated women of the Month here.

The post Utah’s Educated Woman of the Month- Jenny McCulloch appeared first on .

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Over the weekend the Utah Women and Leadership Project hosted the fall session of She Talks Utah a leadership speaker and dialogue series. Five inspirational women from around the state spoke on this season’s theme: Finding our voices and the courage to use them. Each speaker had a unique take on what it means to tap into one’s unique voice. The evening was a powerful reminder of how difficult it can be for women to first, identify their authentic voice and second, to have the confidence to have it be heard.

Brooke Walker, host and executive producer of Studio 5 KSL TV shared her journey in broadcast journalism. She recounted a story from early in her career. When she was given the chance to cover breaking news on the air it was scary and exhilarating. In that moment, her producer directed a terse question at her, “Kid, can you do it?” She could, and she did, and she continued to all the way through an Emmy-nominated and award-winning career. “Validate your own voice,” she says, don’t count on others for your confidence.

Shannon Hales, a NYT best-selling author of over 25 books, including the Newbery Honor award winner Princess Academy, continued the theme of self-validation. Her vulnerable and heartfelt presentation captivated the audience. She shared her youthful goals and that of wanting to be beautiful, which eventually fell by wayside when she realized the difference between “do” and “be.” The aspiration to write and become a mother were far more fulfilling than statically being beautiful. As a successful author, there were still people and messages that pressed certain expectations. For example, not working once she became a mother. “I’ve been fed so many lies by so many people that just weren’t true,” she says of having to choose between parenting and working. “I love both. And I can do both.” Indeed, she does, claiming that the naysayers motivate her to continue to do both.

Another woman that successfully does both is Vanessa Quigley, Co-founder and Chatbooker-in-chief of Chatbooks.com and mom to seven. She started Chatbooks with husband when, in a heart-wrenching moment, her preschool aged son confided in her that he didn’t want to grow up as he clutched a “yearbook” his teacher made for the class.

She saw the value in physically holding onto cherished memories, despite others telling her that print was dead. At times it felt and sounded crazy but she kept going. “Be you while being persistent in your vision,” she said. Authenticity is important, is resonates with others. Even though she’s never felt like the most “techy” woman it doesn’t matter to Vanessa. There are no rules about what you have to be in order to succeed, “Make the role your own, just be you.” Amazingly, 70% of Chatbooks’ staff are women, 98% of those are mothers.

Another inspiring example of authenticity is State Senator Deirdre Henderson, and Senate Rules Chair. Her life in politics started when she was willing to make phone calls to delegates for Jason Chaffetz’s Congressional campaign. Her assignment quickly evolved and eventually grew into a campaign manager positon. The exciting, fast paced world of politics can be terrifying.  However, the way Senator Henderson would never cut herself off from opportunity due to fear. “Fear is never a good reason to do something,” she says. Rather than lauding perfection she says, “There is bravery in failure, you must be willing to fail.” She ended by reminding the audience of the importance of using your political voice.

Finally, Jenny Oaks Baker, Grammy nominated and Billboard No. 1 performer spoke about drawing on her faith to develop her balance being a mother and performer. She encouraged women to absorb as much education and training to prepare for unexpected obstacles in life, “I would encourage everyone to try and receive all the training and education possible to develop yourself to be ready for whatever life may throw at you. Take advantage of all the opportunities for study and growth that you can find.” She wasn’t sure about where her career would take her, so she took classes and developed

skills in many areas to maintain a well-rounded resume. When impostor syndrome rears its ugly head draw on your experience and ambition to push through. Jenny wrapped up the evening with a powerful solo on the violin, accompanied on the piano by her 14 year old daughter.

You can watch the entire speaker series here.

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In an effort to shine the spotlight on incredible women around the state, the Utah Women and Leadership Project is selecting one woman per month to be featured here and all of our social media platforms.  These inspiring women come from all walks of life.  They’re mothers, entrepreneurs, educators, doctors, teachers, students.  Their stories here are meant give public recognition for their hard work and provide a relatable story for you, our reader.

Jenny’s passion for education started when she was a young student, volunteering in classrooms and preschools for kids with disabilities. Jenny also worked in Title 1 schools as an adult, teaching children with special needs. Upon graduating in 2005 from BYU with a B.S. in Family Life with an emphasis in Human Development, she declared herself retired and became a stay at home mom to her toddler and newborn.

Ten years and two more kids later, Jenny re-entered the workforce as a copywriter and content manager in the marketing department of a private company. Her work focused on social engagement, brand messaging, online and print content development, and writing catalog copy.  She is currently learning as much as she can about women’s issues and education on a local and global scale while planning her next move.

UWLP: How did you know or decide your current career path?

Jenny: I had a pretty clear life plan until I was a married, pregnant college student on bed rest, unable to complete the student teaching requirement of my education degree. I changed my major to Family Life and graduated that semester, intending to go to graduate school and sort it out later. Between personal blogging and helping my self-employed husband start his career, writing and marketing had become my qualifications. I took a job with flexible hours that I could work from home. After teaching in some paid or unpaid capacity for over 2 decades, my plan was to start working part-time to get my feet wet and eventually teach full time in my local school district.

UWLP: How have your career passions changed and how did you manage those changes?

Jenny: As Sheryl Sandberg says, “careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” My favorite part of my job turned out to be connecting with other women and helping them find their voice in the workplace, advocating for better pay and better jobs. I was surprised to realize that I didn’t want to go back to the classroom setting. I want to use marketing and social engagement skills I’ve gained to help teach and advocate for women.

UWLP: Briefly tell us about your life outside school/work

Jenny: I love to read and I love the outdoors, so I like to spend as much time as I can outside reading.  My husband and I have 4 active children that we’ve conditioned to think sleeping in the dirt is the best ever. We’re coming off a challenging year for our family, so this school year I’m homeschooling our children so we can spend more time traveling, camping, and creating positive memories while they are still young enough to want to hang out together.

UWLP: What has your experience been like being a woman/mother in your chosen field?

Jenny: I have had both wonderful and terrible experiences. I had to hide my first pregnancy to get a job working at a school, but once I was there my employers were very supportive as I sorted out my maternity leave. When I began working in marketing, my boss was a woman. She allowed me flexibility and let me bring my preschooler to the office on occasion. I also unfortunately witnessed and experienced overt sexism in the company culture, which negatively affected how I and other women were promoted, compensated, and treated. That experience helped fuel my desire to advocate for women.

UWLP: What advice would you give to women starting out in your same career field?

Jenny: I wish I could give out cat posters with Hamilton song lyrics to inspire and motivate you all!  For women graduating in education or the social sciences, get work experience. If you plan on taking a break to raise children, get work experience.  I cannot reiterate this enough. It is so much easier to ask for flexibility once you’ve established yourself in some way. Any experience is better than no experience.  Network and find a mentor. Take someone to lunch and pick their brain, or tag along to a lunch and soak it all in.

I would also say, don’t undervalue or undersell yourself on resumes or in conversation. You’re more talented and more qualified than you realize, you’re just not in the habit of selling yourself. Do it.

Lastly, make yourself heard and seen. When I was teaching a hard to wrangle class I started wearing a bright lipstick or loud tights so they’d at least get into the habit of looking my direction when I was speaking. The same applies to your work. Figure out how to make yourself seen.

Who inspires you? Submit your nomination for Utah’s Educated Woman of the Month here.

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Senate Candidate, Education Advocate,
Bachelor of Science, Political Science and Government, Wells College

About:
Celina is a trusted center of influence with an extensive diversified network.  Her passion and enthusiasm live in serving the communities of her home state.  Born and raised in West Jordan, Celina’s background is in the travel and hospitality industry where she worked in various roles over 10 years bringing business conventions, conferences, and destination travelers to Salt Lake boosting the local economy.

She has also served on the board of several local non-profit organizations and educational programs which support the interests and well-being of women and children. Previously Celina was honored to serve in Mayor Ben McAdams inaugural administration with Salt Lake County as his Community Liaison aEdnd Special Projects Director.

Most recently she was the Utah Director of School Engagement for Project Lead The Way (PLTW) which is the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs which help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy. She is currently the Senate Candidate for Utah’s District 6.

In her spare time she devotes her personal efforts to organizations that focus on the empowerment of women, safety of children, and the advancement of underserved communities. She also dedicates her time to promoting civic engagement and community involvement at all levels.

How have your career passions changed over the course of your career, and how have you managed transitions?
No one goes to college to get a degree in sales but there are a lot of career opportunities related to sales.  People either love or hate sales people (same as politicians).  During the early stages of my career I avoided the sales roles because I thought it was an unpopular role but I finally accepted that sales comes very natural for me and I’m an incredible sales woman because I love to get to know people.  Selling isn’t telling.  It’s actually relationship building and getting to know your client which I loved so when I embraced that skill set my career in sales was very successful.

What do you think matters more in college: grades or networking?
Networking has been an incredible advantage for my career.  I tell people that a lot of times that it is much more important who you know than what you know.  Networking along with my photographic memory has helped me tremendously in sales and politics.

Who do you go to for support when you feel really vulnerable?
It’s difficult to reach out when you’re feeling vulnerable but that is the exact time when you need to force yourself to reach out to your trusted friends and mentors to help you through a difficult time.  I’ve been lucky to have friends that literally reach out and come searching for me when I go to quiet because they know I’m struggling.  Find trusted friends and seek mentors to get you through these times.

Now it’s your turn! Nominate an Educated Woman, click here!

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Utah Women and Leadership Blog by Amber Thackeray - 4M ago

Robbyn  Scribner works within the areas of development and grant writing for the Utah Women in Leadership Project at Utah Valley University. She holds a Master’s degree in English with an emphasis in composition and rhetoric from Brigham Young University, and a Bachelor’s degree (also from BYU) in European Studies. Robbyn specializes in promoting excellence in writing; she has taught university writing at all levels and co-directed a cross-curricular writing tutoring program at BYU. She has also led seminars and workshops for scholars in various fields, training them on teaching and incorporating more writing in their specific disciplines.  Robbyn has also worked as a copy-editor and researcher for various academic and professional projects.  Most recently, she has been researching and writing on issues affecting women and careers, with an emphasis on women who’ve taken time away from the workforce and are looking to return.

In the fall of 2014, my family and I (all rabid volleyball fans), watched with great excitement as the BYU women’s volleyball team, not expected to go deep in the NCAA tournament, advanced all the way to the championship match–the first time ever for an unseeded team.

The BYU team’s motto through the tournament, playing off their ubiquitous single-letter moniker, was “Y NOT US?” Commentators and volleyball fans across the country had many answers for such a question—this team wasn’t from a power conference, they didn’t have a long legacy of winning like many of the perennial favorites, and their regular season play hadn’t put them in a position to shine.

Yet this team ignored the nay-sayers and fought to the bitter end (and it was a bit bitter—they lost the championship match). But they progressed farther than anyone thought possible—all while boldly asking: Y not us?

Sometimes as women interested in leadership we need to ask ourselves the same question. Again, there are plenty of nay-sayers; sheer numbers tell us it’s difficult for women to reach the highest echelons of business, politics, academia, and entertainment. Cultural and social norms can make it feel like a woman’s place isn’t in leadership, and sometimes the little voices in our heads tell us we just aren’t good enough.

And yet we see a need. We’ve learned that countries where women have autonomy are more peaceful and prosperous, that businesses with higher numbers of women executives are more profitable, that decisions made by both women and men working together in politics are better decisions. So, why not women? Why not us?

If you made it to this blog, chances are you already recognize the need for women leaders and see our potential for good within the state and beyond. Studies have shown that women are sometimes more assertive in their negotiations and advocacy if they feel they are asking for someone else—working for the good of a team. I think that’s part of our strength as women—we look out for each other, root for one another. As we study, strive, and work together, we can grow in confidence and when we see the need for someone to step up and lead we will be ready to ask, “Yes, why not us?” I am lucky enough to have a personal and professional network full of incredibly talented, brilliant, and passionate women! I know so many women who already have made, and will continue to make, a tremendous impact.

But as individual women, we must eventually ask an even more important, and much more difficult, question: “Why not me?”

When I read books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which reminds us of how much we need more women leaders at the very top, and essays like “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, which reminds us how very difficult it is to be at the top, I feel torn. I know we need women to fill these roles, but the selfish part of me wants some other fabulous woman to step up to the plate and let me off the hook.

My hesitancy forces another question: “But if not me, then who?” Anyone who has watched a bitter election or seen a CEO take the fall for a failing company knows that leadership, while rewarding, isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart. It’s a risk, and it definitely takes both preparation and courage.

If we are ever to have a strong contingent of “US,” we need to start with a number of individual “MEs.” No, we don’t all need to be the COO of Facebook, or a director at the State Department—we can start where we are, where we see the need today: as the first woman on the city council, as one of the few women majoring in the electrical engineering program, as the only woman entrepreneur going after that limited pool of angel funding.

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State House Representative of District 23, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

B.S. Business Management, Master’s of Social Work, University of Phoenix

I received my bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and a master’s degree in social work. I am also a graduate of the Westside Leadership Institute. As a profession, I work as a licensed clinical social worker. The primary focus of my career has been on substance abuse treatment and advocacy services for Salt Lake City’s homeless population.

In January 1, 2015, I was elected to the Utah House of Representatives where I proudly serve District 23. I am a member of the Social Services Appropriations, Health and Human Services, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and Child Welfare oversight panel.

Briefly tell us about your life outside of School/Work:

My husband, David and I currently reside in Fair Park. I am a member of Greater Salt Lake Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and have served on numerous boards such as the University of Utah Neighbor Partnership Board, the Fair Park Community Council, and the Salt Lake City Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Board.

What was the greatest barrier on your path to awesomeness, and what did you do about it??

While in pursuit of my higher education, there were people in my life who tried to discourage me from completing my degree because of my age and family status; being a wife and a mother. Despite their judgement, I learned how to tune those individuals out and tuned into those who expressed their support. By staying consistent with these practices, I was able to complete college and further graduate with my MSW.

How did you know your path or decide your current path?

I didn’t know my path would lead towards being a House Representative. I’ve always been drawn to serve people. It felt right to be involved with my community and contribute as much as I can to where it is needed. After seeing the lack of improvements, I wanted to stand up and give the unheard a loud voice.

How do you de-stress?

I have a practice of no working on Sundays. That is my day to replenish myself spiritually by going to church, physically by resting, and emotionally by spending quality time with my family.

Now it’s your turn! Nominate an Educated Woman, click here!

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The American Petroleum Institute; Economic Advisor

B.A Economics, Master’s of Public Policy, Brigham Young University

Rebecca Winkel works as an economic advisor for the American Petroleum Institute (API) where she has been for more than four years. As a member of the Policy Analysis department Ms. Winkel helps ensure that API’s research is defensible and of the highest quality.

She directs all research on workforce development and STEM education for API, with a special focus on promoting the industry’s work with non-traditional allies. This research includes studies on employment projections, educational attainment trends, building trades and labor unions, supplier diversity, and workforce development issues for minorities, women, veterans, and millennials.

Ms. Winkel works closely with API’s External Mobilization team on grassroots outreach and advocacy in these communities. She also works on a variety of other issues at API, including well activity counts, GHG emissions, LNG exports, and county development. She is an expert in the DrillingInfo database and provides GIS mapping services to all API departments.

Ms. Winkel graduated summa cum laude from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in economics and also holds a Master’s in Public Policy, also from BYU.

Briefly tell us about your life outside of School/Work:

My husband and I have been married for almost 7.5 years and we have a darling 9 month old daughter. She is happy and chatty and loves to explore, and we love helping her learn about the world. We love to travel as a family, especially to warm places—I grew up in San Diego and I love warm weather and the beach! I love to cook and experiment with new recipes, and I love to eat out and try new foods.

What was the greatest barrier on your path to awesomeness, and what did you do about it??

The greatest barrier I have faced professionally was being new, young, and inexperienced. I knew I could work hard and be successful, but nobody else did—I was the youngest in my department by quite a few years and was the only woman. I had to speak up, volunteer and insert myself into a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with at first. I had to suggest projects and make the case on why they were important and why I should run them. A lot of this was outside of my comfort zone, but if I didn’t push for myself nobody else was going to (with the exception of my fabulous mentor mentioned below). By putting myself out there and accepting any work that came my way—and then doing a great job on it—I was able to build a solid network within my organization, gain a good reputation around the building, and build my own niche where I am recognized as the expert.

What do you think matters more in college: grades or networking?

I would say that networking matters more as long as you have respectable grades, though I have really found that networking and good grades go hand in hand. I was a pretty dedicated student and my grades were important to me, both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student, and I did very well in school. Every job and internship I have had during and post-college I found through networking, but my good grades were usually one of the top reasons people were willing to connect me or hire me.

Who do you go to for support when you are feeling really vulnerable?

Of course the first person I always go to is my husband. He can help me see the best in myself and reminds me of the bigger picture to give me perspective. Professionally I think it’s very important to have mentors that you can turn to when you need help or guidance, and who will fight for you if things are difficult. My first boss at my current job really took me under his wing to help me learn the industry and to establish myself in the organization. He helped me to find my niche and build my portfolio of work, and it’s so important to establish relationships like that. He was the one I always went to if I was concerned or struggling professionally.

Now it’s your turn! Nominate an Educated Woman, click here!

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