UNCF Special Programs Corporation supports students from across the country to make meaningful contributions around the globe and in their communities. Maddie Jackson, who is a Presidential Scholar from Saint Augustine’s College shares some insight with us on her passion for equality.
The thoughts expressed in this blog do not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, represent those of UNCF Special Programs Corporation.
Have you ever walked into your local grocery store or mall, and noticed that the employees represented different ethnicities or genders? If not, have you ever wondered why? An important part of having any successful business is to have a strong, diverse workforce that can devise successful solutions. Some businesses around the world fail to realize the power of diversity- and it is our job to make them aware of it. Diversity can create better work groups, schools, and communities. Everyone does not agree with this fact, though. UNCFSP does and I found that out when their “Your Opportunity Starts Here” Tour made a stop on my campus.
UNCFSP is part of the push toward equality and the true meaning of diversity. The International Labour Organization (ILO) released an article stating that women are still getting low-paying jobs. Statistics show the higher the post, the less likely a woman—even one as qualified as her male colleague (or even more qualified)—is to get it. So when will it stop? When will the people in power recognize that women have true potential and can be an asset to any company? That is a part of UNCFSP’s mission; to help everyone, including women, accomplish their goals.
I developed a passion for women’s empowerment while serving as “Miss Black and Gold,” an esteemed recognition from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., on my college campus. After extensive research, I have discovered that women are treated differently in societies around the world, and not just where I live. When I met some of the UNCFSP staff, I learned a lot when a representative spoke to us about the opportunities available for international awareness and study abroad. UNCFSP ensures that no one, whether male or female, misses an opportunity.
The goal of UNCFSP is to, “provide Minority Institutions (MIs) with capacity-building opportunities; the government and private industry with access to a talented and diverse workforce; and individuals with the experience, exposure, mentoring, and development they need to have successful and empowered careers,” aligns with my own philosophy and passion. This goal can inspire others to put powerful minds together and develop great solutions and accomplishments.
I want to address issues concerning women in the workplace and that involves the levels of social, political, and economic ills that plague our nation and global society. Mrs. Anna Čurdová, Czech Republic Socialist Group member, states in a Parliamentary Assembly article that in Spain, the unemployment rate for men is 7.5 percent and nearly doubles for women at a whopping 14.3 percent. That is a significant difference between genders.
An ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, stated that, “by promoting decent work for women, we are empowering societies and advancing the cause of economic and social development for all.”
Women are routinely passed over when it comes to promotions, but its time for them to be able to sit on both sides of the interview table. I’m interested in helping women break the “glass ceiling” stereotype.
Ever since I have been aware of UNCFSP and their work, I have been astounded by the changes that they have attempted to make, and how they share valuable information with students like me. I now know that it is not enough to just be nationally aware, but I must be globally aware.
As I noted earlier, if your local businesses aren’t diverse and you notice the employees all look and act the same, it’s up to you to CHANGE IT! Get involved with UNCFSP! Learn about the disparities our global society faces and, whether you are female or male, get the kind of training you need to prepare yourself to successfully participate in the world. Being involved with UNCFSP will push you to become your best self and serve as a catalyst in your community. Be inspired by UNCFSP—then inspire others.
Saint Augustine’s College