I was introduced to the Female Quotient this summer when the company held its summer FQ Lounge in the Hamptons at the home of Joan Hornig in Southampton. The day included panels and speeches by many inspiring women.
The Female Quotient, founded by Shelley Zalis, has a mission to advance gender equality in the workplace and in the media — Amen to that! FQ provides companies and business leaders with research, tools, and experiences to promote equality. It serves the “growing community of corporate women and female entrepreneurs transforming workplace culture.”
The pop-up experience at the FQ Lounge connects women across a variety of industries. Last week it returned to Manhattan for Advertising Week. The lounges can also be found at high profile events like the World Economic Forum, SXSW, and more.
My own personal hero, Sarah Jessica Parker, was a speaker at the FQ Lounge dinner, so I had to go. The event was held at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers on Tuesday, September 24. As Zalis introduced Parker, she referred to a quote she once said, “Trying to be a man is a waste of a woman.”
The idea of Parker’s “Sex and the City” character, Carrie Bradshaw, empowering women was a big topic of discussion, and one I could get into for hours. I’ve mentioned it before, I’m a super fan — I write a newspaper column, live on the Upper East Side, and really do love shoes. I follow “Sex and the City” Instagram fan pages and recall quotes from the show in my head daily. Just when I thought I couldn’t love SJP more, her talk at the FQ Lounge dinner did the trick.
And while I love shoes and “Sex and the City,” I also love social justice. Parker mentioned that whenever she feels overwhelmed or overworked, it’s quickly put into perspective thinking of the women who don’t have access to the same resources. And thinking of how they survive day-to-day really struck a chord.
Sitting in a room of empowered and successful women, I understand I’m in a good and very lucky position. I see so many women around me striving and thriving, and it’s important to celebrate this fact. But I also see women who are struggling to get by.
If you are someone in need of help, there are resources at hand both locally and globally. I’d like to take this platform to help spread the word about a few foundations that help women.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault, you can call The Retreat, a safe haven for families in crisis on the East End. Professionals and trained volunteers give the opportunity to heal in a safe place, free from violence, and reestablish your life. Visit www.theretreatinc.org.
Dress For Success aims to empower women to achieve economic independence. They provide a network of support, professional attire, and development tools to help women thrive. Visit www.dressforsuccess.org.
The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, based in Southampton, offers breast cancer patients and families help with the physical and emotional aspects of breast cancer. No patient is turned away from the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center for lack of insurance or inability to pay for treatment. It also offers access to mammography and treatment to medically underserved communities. Visit www.ellenhermanson.org.
Lucia’s Angels is a foundation that helps women and families on the East End with late-stage women’s cancers including breast, ovarian, cervical, and uterine. Visit www.luciasangels.org.
Planned Parenthood offers affordable health care, sex education, and medical experts in reproductive health. Visit www.plannedparenthood.org.
Step Forward is a resource for immigrant women at their families, sharing trusted information. The website is a source to learn about rights, and ways to protect your family. Visit www.womenstepforward.org.
SEPA Mujer represents well-being and success of Latina immigrant women on Long Island. According to its website, they do this by “bringing together community members and advocates to speak out against injustice, provide access to opportunities and services, take a stand against domestic violence and other abuses, and push for social change.” Visit www.sepamujer.org.
i-tri provides a curriculum of physical fitness, family outreach, nutrition classes, and self-esteem workshops for adolescent girls. It offers an inclusive, community-based program that fosters self-respect, personal empowerment, self-confidence, positive body image, and healthy lifestyle choices. Visit www.itrigirls.org.
Like FQ says, “When you advance women, you advance equality.” Live it every day and hope to inspire others. For more info on the Female Quotient, visit www.TheFemaleQuotient.com.