Monday, July 10, 2017

BPW Boulder is recognized as a CWEF Named Scholarship Sponsor

Karen McGee, President CWEF
& Sharon Simmons, President BPW Boulder
Colorado Women’s Education Foundation (CWEF) started because past BPW presidents and board members decided there was more to be done, more to elevate women by supporting their efforts to increase their education regardless of their age. Education is at the center of the BPW mission: to build full participation, equity and economic self-sufficiency for all women. Part of BPW’s dues is allocated to CWEF, but your chapter can do more. Another way to help is to hold a fundraising event specifically to support CWEF’s scholarships for women.

We have a choice of what actions we take, including which organizations we support with time and energy, as well as with our pocketbooks.

Boulder Commits To Donation from Celebration of Women.

The Celebration of Women team for Boulder’s chapter made a bold promise this year: donate 34% of all proceeds of the 2017 event to CWEF.

Reshaping how we think about supporting the efforts of others in our daily lives may seem insignificant, yet it’s not. Take BPW Boulder. They wanted to make a big difference and to support women in achieving their educational goals in becoming more economically self-sufficient for themselves and their families.

Boulder didn’t know if they’d make $1of profit or $1,000 of profit. But they intentionally choose to make a commitment to donate funds to CWEF. This powerful choice displays their action on the BPW mission. It shows their chapter members that being part of something larger matters. Together, they worked to raise women up.

Boulder’s 2017 Celebration of Women event raised $600 for CWEF.

You may not know this, but a contribution (one time or through continuous giving) of $1,000 enables a person or entity to be recognized on CWEF’s website and in annual reports as a Lifetime Scholarship Sponsor. BPW Boulder recognized the impact of this contribution as a marketing tool for their chapter. The board decided to donate an additional $400 to CWEF this year to reach the goal of supporting a named scholarship of $1,000. With additional donations, BPW Boulder will reach the next level and become a named scholarship sponsor of $3,000.  

CWEF is pleased to share BPW Boulder’s commitment to help the women applying for 2017 scholarships. Check out the listing of BPW Boulder’s named scholarship at You might also want to browse the entire website to learn about the many ways to contribute and read the inspiring success stories there.  

Karen McGee, President CWEF
& Sharon Simmons, President BPW Boulder
BPW Colorado President and CWEF Board of Trustees’ Treasurer, Deb Fischer, has this to share about CWEF and what chapters can do to help other women. "CWEF was founded by passionate BPW members, as a sister nonprofit organization, in an effort to provide the gift of education to empower women to support themselves and their families. Forty years later, CWEF is even more important in assisting women to achieve their career goals and in many cases, financial independence. I challenge each chapter to step up and organize a scholarship fundraiser on behalf of CWEF. The trustees and recipients will be available and excited to assist!"

Let’s get every Colorado chapter listed on CWEF’s website.  Support the BPW mission. Support your local women. Take intentional action.

Together we can help CWEF reach the challenging goal to increase its endowment to $2 million by 2022 so the scholarship program will be self-sustaining.

How to contact CWEF: or

Submitted by Jessica Dewell and Karen McGee

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Greetings everyone reading our blog! We have good news in the world of Cities for CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women/Girls).  

Reminder: CEDAW is the only United Nations international human rights treaty that focuses exclusively on the rights of women/girls. Adopted by many countries since 1979, CEDAW has ratified in 187 of 192 countries world wide. Guess what? Our United States is one of the six that has not ratified it. In an effort to pass it in the United States we have gone to a grass roots effort city by city-thereby the name Cities for CEDAW. In the US, 57 cities have resolutions and 7 have ordinances (a binding law) to work on discrimination issues and principals of CEDAW. Fyi-we need approximately 100 cities signed on with Cities for CEDAW to take this back to D.C. for possible ratification.

So, back to where we were here. The Colorado Task Force has been very busy since the last post on this fantastic blog. We have signed on Lafayette and Louisville CO for resolutions and Greeley is on a 5 year plan starting with a proclamation ending in ordinance. We attended the Denver Gender Equity Summit after they completed their gender study. Hundreds of women attended this massive gathering to work on all issues of equality. Kim Desmond (from the Denver Women's Commission) met with us along with Skye Stuart of the City of Denver,  The United Nations Association representatives from Denver/Boulder County and Business and Professional Women of Colorado, shortly after that summit. We have a game plan in the City of Denver, awaiting the legal study being done by UNA Denver. 

In Boulder, the city completed its gender study in March and we met with the City of Boulder again at their City Council meeting June 20-with four speakers to this movement. What exciting times we are in! Boulder is working on a letter from the Human Rights Commission to the City Manager and hopefully they all agree that a AT LEAST a resolution is in order for this city, if not an ordinance. 

Also, we recorded a radio show for The Voice of Bold Business Radio today and it will air on July 21, 2017 after the noon hour on iheart radio, itunes, utube and a few more! Watch for it and we will post it on here with a link. We go into details about our task force and how you can help as well as how much we have all done to move this state forward on Cities for CEDAW and rights of women/girls in this state. 

Please visit our Task Force website at: and see what you think!! Jump on and give us your logo in support of your non-profit, business or personally! We will post you and let everyone see that you support human rights and women's rights in our state of Colorado. We appreciate you visiting and please do get ahold of me on email at:

Thank you so much fair cities of our state! 

Task Force Members/contributors:  Sharon Simmons, President of BPW Boulder, VP of Advocacy for BPW CO and Veronica Hrutkay of United Nations Association Boulder County and Zonta of Boulder County/Chief Catalyst 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hi all! Zuza Bohley from United Nations Assoc of Boulder County sent this to share with Business and Professional Woman of Colorado and beyong! THINK ABOUT IT FOLKS:

Women are often dis-proportionatetly affected by climate change – and are the keys to climate action.  We want to recognize and empower women as impactful change makers for the environment and health of our planet.
Women bear severe gender impacts of climate change but systematically lack equal representation in decision making. That is a problem.[1]

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security [2] recently released a new study that examines climate change as a human rights imperative, global security threat and a pervasive strain on economic stability. The report highlights how women bear severe gendered impacts of climate change – including adverse health, economic, social and physical consequences – but systematically lack equal representation in decision-making.
Structural and cultural disparities make women disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Women are more likely than men to die during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and climate change-related events. For the women who survive, many often lack legal assets and rights to property, which leaves them few resources with which to rebuild their lives. As women travel greater distances to collect essential resources like water, firewood and food to support their families, they are often threatened and abused.
Climate change has also contributed to high levels of displacement and forced migration due to environmental degradation and natural disasters. While migration can be a lifesaving tool for adaptation to climate change, forced migration often perpetuates and worsens the inequalities that women face. When male family members migrate, female members are often left to perform traditional roles as caregivers, in addition to becoming the sole breadwinner. When women must migrate, their economic and physical security is compromised, often leaving them to become targets for human traffickers and smugglers.
Women are more likely to believe in the science of global warming and are more concerned with health and safety issues. They are also more likely to recycle and be more environmentally conscious.
In the industrial world, women are making everyday decisions for their household: what to buy and what to replace. Women have a central role in decision making when it comes to consumption and waste. They decide which brand of detergent, cereal what grocery store and which staples are consumed by their families. Beyond that they are the guardians of what get’s replaced or tossed out. Therefore, women are big stake holders in the opportunity to take impactful action on Climate Change.
Ecocycle in Boulder, Colorado says, "Zero Waste practice is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fight climate change and build healthy communities."
90% of all our trash is recyclable or compostable. Currently, Boulder only recycles and reuses 39% of its waste.
Rethinking consumption and waste, we can save up to 42% of all greenhouse gases (from landfills) focusing on One single action. Thus, we propose that all BoCoWoCo partners agree to become leaders by example: pledging to advance Zero Waste.
This can manifest in having Zero waste events and educating the greater public (as well as our constituencies) about how to become a more conscious consumer, choosing waste minimizing options (sharing resources with others, reusable dishes and silver wear, recycled products, buying in bulk, Meatless Mondays, etc).


Friday, December 2, 2016

Hello everyone!! Welcome to our blog. I found something very fun that a friend at the TimeBank Boulder gave me. Its on leadership and meetings. What helps us work together better? Take a gander at what it offers and let us know what you think. Let's have a conversation!

1. Make Others Feel Safe to Speak-Up
Many times leaders intimidate their colleagues with their title and power when they walk into a room. Successful leaders deflect attention away from themselves and encourage others to voice their opinions. They are experts at making others feel safe to speak-up and confidently share their perspectives and points of view. They use their executive presence to create an approachable environment.
2. Make Decisions
Successful leaders are expert decision makers. They either facilitate the dialogue to empower their colleagues to reach a strategic conclusion or they do it themselves. They focus on “making things happen” at all times – decision making activities that sustain progress. Successful leaders have mastered the art of politicking and thus don’t waste their time on issues that disrupt momentum. They know how to make 30 decisions in 30 minutes.
3. Communicate Expectations
Successful leaders are great communicators, and this is especially true when it comes to “performance expectations.” In doing so, they remind their colleagues of the organization’s core values and mission statement – ensuring that their vision is properly translated and actionable objectives are properly executed.
I had a boss that managed the team by reminding us of the expectations that she had of the group. She made it easy for the team to stay focused and on track. The protocol she implemented – by clearly communicating expectations – increased performance and helped to identify those on the team that could not keep up with the standards she expected from us.
4. Challenge People to Think
The most successful leaders understand their colleagues’ mindsets, capabilities and areas for improvement. They use this knowledge/insight to challenge their teams to think and stretch them to reach for more. These types of leaders excel in keeping their people on their toes, never allowing them to get comfortable and enabling them with the tools to grow.
If you are not thinking, you’re not learning new things. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing – and over time becoming irrelevant in your work.
5. Be Accountable to Others
Successful leaders allow their colleagues to manage them. This doesn’t mean they are allowing others to control them – but rather becoming accountable to assure they are being proactive to their colleagues needs.
Beyond just mentoring and sponsoring selected employees, being accountable to others is a sign that your leader is focused more on your success than just their own.
6. Lead by Example
Leading by example sounds easy, but few leaders are consistent with this one. Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions. They know everyone is watching them and therefore are incredibly intuitive about detecting those who are observing their every move, waiting to detect a performance shortfall.
7. Measure & Reward Performance
Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on business performance and those people who are the performance champions. Not only do they review the numbers and measure performance ROI, they are active in acknowledging hard work and efforts (no matter the result). Successful leaders never take consistent performers for granted and are mindful of rewarding them.
8. Provide Continuous Feedback
Employees want their leaders to know that they are paying attention to them and they appreciate any insights along the way. Successful leaders always provide feedback and they welcome reciprocal feedback by creating trustworthyrelationships with their colleagues. They understand the power of perspective and have learned the importance of feedback early on in their career as it has served them to enable workplace advancement.
9. Properly Allocate and Deploy Talent
Successful leaders know their talent pool and how to use it. They are experts at activating the capabilities of their colleagues and knowing when to deploy their unique skill sets given the circumstances at hand.
10. Ask Questions, Seek Counsel
Successful leaders ask questions and seek counsel all the time. From the outside, they appear to know-it-all – yet on the inside, they have a deep thirst for knowledge and constantly are on the look-out to learn new things because of their commitment to making themselves better through the wisdom of others.
11. Problem Solve; Avoid Procrastination
Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand. They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them).
Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing.
12. Positive Energy & Attitude
Successful leaders create a positive and inspiring workplace culture. They know how to set the tone and bring an attitude that motivates their colleagues to take action. As such, they are likeable, respected and strong willed. They don’t allow failures to disrupt momentum.
13. Be a Great Teacher
Many employees in the workplace will tell you that their leaders have stopped being teachers. Successful leaders never stop teaching because they are so self-motivated to learn themselves. They use teaching to keep their colleagues well-informed and knowledgeable through statistics, trends, and other newsworthy items.
Successful leaders take the time to mentor their colleagues and make the investment to sponsor those who have proven they are able and eager to advance.
14. Invest in Relationships
Successful leaders don’t focus on protecting their domain – instead they expand it by investing in mutually beneficial relationships. Successful leaders associate themselves with “lifters and other leaders” – the types of people that can broaden their sphere of influence. Not only for their own advancement, but that of others.
Leaders share the harvest of their success to help build momentum for those around them.
15. Genuinely Enjoy Responsibilities
Successful leaders love being leaders – not for the sake of power but for the meaningful and purposeful impact they can create. When you have reached a senior level of leadership – it’s about your ability to serve others and this can’t be accomplished unless you genuinely enjoy what you do.

In the end, successful leaders are able to sustain their success because these 15 things ultimately allow them to increase the value of their organization’s brand – while at the same time minimize the operating risk profile. They serve as the enablers of talent, culture and results.
Posted by Sharon Simmons, President of Business and Professional Women of Boulder County and Legislative Chair BPW Colorado

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gender Equality Study in the US...Colorado's #19!!!

For many advocates, representation in the nation’s highest office could lead to meaningful progress for women’s rights, potentially addressing some of the severe inequalities the nation has yet to overcome.

These issues include a gender pay gap, a lack of flexibility in the workplace during pregnancy and early motherhood, and, indeed, a lack of women holding positions of political influence. While no state has achieved gender pay equality, a number have made substantial progress in closing the earnings gap and in other areas, like electing women to office, funding pre-K programs, and passing laws that allow women to stay in the workforce when they have children, should they so choose.

On the other hand, a number of states remain extremely unfavorable to women in every major category. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed and ranked the 50 states based on their favorability to women. 
Ranking Gender Equality in all 50 States,  these are the top 5:

1. Rhode Island 
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 85.8% (5th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 43.6% (5th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 1.4% (11th lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 27.4% (18th highest)
Across a range of measures related to health, leadership, and financial security, Rhode Island is the best state in the country for women. With mandated special accommodations for pregnant workers and expansions to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 for both private and public sector jobs, Rhode Island has taken considerable steps to address gender inequality.
2. New York 
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 88.7% (the highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 41.6% (12th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 23.9% (11th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 24.4% (24th lowest)
Nationwide, women earn only 80% of what their male counterparts earn. While the pay gap exists in every state, it is smallest in New York, where women earn 88.7% of the median male salary.
3. California 
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 85.7% (6th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.7% (19th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 12.9% (23rd highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 25.8% (20th highest)
Women hold a relatively high share of government leadership positions in California. Of all 55 of the state’s congressional representatives, 38.2% are female.
4. Oregon 
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 80.8% (20th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.8% (17th highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 8.2% (22nd lowest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 31.1% (9th highest)
A strong pre-K program can be extremely beneficial for women who might otherwise have to take additional time off or pay out of pocket for childcare. And Oregon has one of the best-funded pre-K systems in the country, with $8,648 in state money apportioned per child.
5. Connecticut 
> Female earnings as pct. of male: 82.4% (14th highest)
> Pct. mgmt. jobs held by women: 40.4% (22nd highest)
> Pct. 3-4 yr. olds enrolled in state pre-K: 16.2% (18th highest)
> Pct. legislative seats held by women: 28.3% (15th highest)
By a number of measures related to health, financial security, and legislation, Connecticut is the fifth best state for women in the country and the second best in New England. The pay gap between men and women is slightly smaller than it is nationwide, and Connecticut voters have elected more women to fill state legislature and congressional delegate seats than is typical.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Julie Anderson, a research associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, explained why the wage gap exists. According to Anderson, “the largest contributor to the wage gap is occupational segregation.” Men are more likely to be hired in higher paying, managerial roles than women. Though the share ranges from state to state, nationwide, fewer than 40% of management positions are held by women.
According to Anderson, women are also far more likely than men to work in low wage, part-time jobs. Since the wage gap only measures the incomes of men and women working full time, the problem is even more pronounced than the data indicates. These were the top 5, but for the entire 50 state ranking click on this link:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Green News from BPW Boulder, October

Ten Days of Action!!! 

Business and Professional Women (BPW), which was established in 1919, was one of the first organizations to support the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) written in 1923! The ERA still has15 states that have not ratified the amendment, so BPW continues to work tirelessly on women’s issues! BPW International has over 30,000 members in 109 countries! Currently Sharon Simmons, president of the Boulder chapter and our BPW Colorado Legislative Chair are making great strides on Cities on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Here is information on joining the task force. 

I thought I am hardly qualified to take all this on, I thought, “You have to start somewhere!” and I am learning so much and it is exciting! I have also mentioned that Eco-Cycle, the first curbside recycling in the USA, started right here in Boulder, Colorado. It just celebrated its 40-year anniversary. Organizations from around the planet rely on and learn from Eco-cycle's model.

According to Eco-Cycle,

42 percent of our greenhouse gases come from how products are made, transported, and gotten rid of 

...and that Zero Waste is the easiest and quickest way to fight climate change. 

Every time you buy something, every time you throw something away, think, "Where is this coming from and where is it going?" As soon as you practice this simple mindfulness exercise you will magically begin to reduce and reuse!

There are many organizations that are fighting the big fights—oil and gas, fracking, switching to sustainable energy—but hardly anyone is talking about the little things that can make a huge difference, like reducing and reusing, so I continue to focus on that. One of the first things we did on the BPW Environmental Committee was to create two documents; "What Is Zero Waste and Why Is It Important" and "How to Do a Zero Waste Event." Want to know more about these documents? Email Us!

In January 2016, our chapter was the first to commit to all future events it held being Zero Waste. We are hoping for all chapters in Colorado and the USA to follow suit.

In the past year, BPW Colorado has partnered with Women's Earth and Climate Action Network. They organized a campaign last October for organizations and people to take "a day of action" and asked for photos showing an action. They received photos from all around the world! (Our very own Donna Daniell holds up her sign from last year at the top of the post).

This event is a preface to the Conference of the Parties (COP21) which formed in 1992 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place in Paris in late November and early December last year and where a precedent setting 175 parties signed an agreement. The United States, China, and Brazil just ratified the agreement in September.

This article was submitted by Laurie Dameron. Visit her Facebook Page here.