Today, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day and commemorates the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.
To commemorate this day, we interviewed several female-identifying employees across Arrive Logistics about their role models, their voting experiences and the advice they would offer their younger selves.
Who is a female-identifying person you consider a role model?
“This may be an odd response, but Dolly Parton is a person I look up to. In her lifetime, she has helped so many people. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, but at the same time, she stands up for herself. She is both a powerful musician and speaker. Dolly is strong and humble and an incredible philanthropist, and she truly uses her privilege for good.” said Lauren Asbury, Interim Business Development Learning & Development Manager. Lauren has worked at Arrive Logistics since October 2018 and currently focuses her time onboarding new employees within Business Development and ensuring they have the foundational skills to be successful.
“I did a project on Malala Yousafzai several years ago, and ever since then, I find myself being more and more inspired by her. She is a Pakistani activist for female education and was shot by the Taliban for vocalizing her support for women’s education, but even after that violence, she hasn’t stopped,” said Amani Mehta, Product Manager on the Product team. “Her bravery and tenacity is just so inspiring, and she’s 23! We are the same age, and in her life she has not only survived a traumatic incident but spotlighted a global issue. As a woman of color, we are worthy of equal rights and respect, and Malala’s work champions this and encourages people to make opportunities for themselves, even if those opportunities aren’t readily available.”
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) inspires me because of her commitment to her beliefs and taking action to make change. She is younger than me and already a congresswoman,” said Meaggen Cooksey, Operations Manager on the Business Development team. “She advocates for the people of her district and fully embraces her Puerto Rican heritage. She truly inspires me.”
Do you remember when you first voted? Do you have a memory related to voting?
“I voted for the first time in 2008, and I can remember people telling me that they felt like their vote didn’t count. But I felt the complete opposite. I felt this huge responsibility, and the whole day felt momentous and important,” said Lauren.
“My first election was in 2016. I was attending Babson College, an international school. Learning about cultures and perspectives different from my own, I was struck by the fact that voting meant more than I realized. I grew up in Austin in a somewhat sheltered environment. But at Babson College, I could see my voice carried weight. Voting matters. The actions you take and decisions you make when voting, they impact not only your community but people across the country and around the world. It’s much bigger than one person,” said Amani.
“I don’t really remember the first time I voted, but I wish I had been more involved with politics when I was younger. I feel so much more confident now in my voting choices. I have so much more perspective and understanding now. But I do love the logistics of voting from waiting in line to getting your “I voted” sticker. It all feels so exciting when you’re there,” said Meaggen.
If you were to offer advice to your younger self, what would you say?
“Be more bold. I feel like moving through life as a younger woman, I heard that ‘you can be anything’ but in reality, the options are limited for what you can do in my small town in West Virginia. I was waiting for a lot of permission. But now I know everything is negotiable. Be bold,” said Lauren.
“There is no definition of a perfect woman. Own your life. Believe in yourself and abilities. If there is something you want, know you are capable. Don’t let the doubt win. Work hard, and you can overcome anything. Something that has been drilled in me from my family is the value of empathy. Be empathetic,” said Amani.
“Trust in your own intuition and opinions. Take time to develop your own sense of self. Just because there is a path that works for someone else, doesn’t mean you have to take it. Think outside the box, and you can do whatever you want to do,” said Meaggen.