A Renewed Grassroots Organization
While many females have held influential roles in Southeast Minnesota over the years, opportunities for more women to pursue leadership positions are ample as the area grows.
More Women on the Move, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, is dedicated to empowering women committed to inclusive, equitable, healthy communities and seeking and supporting women to run for elected office. The group strives to help women explore a variety of leadership positions throughout the community, regardless of their area of interest or expertise.
The success of the original Women on the Move group, in its efforts to encourage more women to run for office and seek leadership roles, inspired the renewed More Women on the Move group to replicate that success as the Rochester group progresses.
MOTIVATION FOR MORE WOMEN ON THE MOVE
“After the elections in 2016, a group of local women were unhappy that more women had not been elected to office,” explains Olmsted County Commissioner Sheila Kiscaden, who has been instrumental in Women on the Move and its revival.
“Women decided not to sit on the sidelines but to form an ad hoc committee to actively encourage and support local women to run for office,” Kiscaden continues. Women on the Move and now More Women on the Move play a critical role in bringing the voices of women in leadership together to inspire and support one another.
MORE WOMEN ON THE MOVE LEADERSHIP
More Women on the Move, led by volunteer co-chairs Anna Richey and myself, picked up momentum in the early part of 2017 as a 2.0 version of the original Women on the Move of nearly two decades earlier.
“Having women in leadership roles changes some of the societal and cultural norms about who can lead and what qualities are necessary in leadership,” says Marschall. “Being a part of More Women on the Move is important to me because we are working to break down barriers by improving and strengthening women in leadership roles in our community.” More Women on the Move is looking for ways to collaborate and partner with organizations and established groups to build a strong network of support for area women.
Co-chair Anna Richey agrees. “Women have always been important voices in our community, and we’ve been fortunate to have women serving in some of our highest local elected offices,” Richey says. “But we are still underrepresented and, as our community changes, it’s more important than ever that women see themselves as ready, qualified and prepared to take on leadership positions, particularly as elected officials. It’s the goal of More Women on the Move to draw on a legacy of local women who’ve run successful campaigns for themselves and others, and to help women feel supported, encouraged and armed with the best possible training and resources to be successful.”
More Women on the Move encourages women to serve their communities by striving for equal representation on boards, on councils and in leadership positions and provide them with tools to be successful in these roles.
ON THE HORIZON FOR MORE WOMEN ON THE MOVE
More Women on the Move held its first major event on November 2, 2017, a luncheon featuring current Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith and former Lieutenant Governor Joanne Benson speaking on “Women in Leadership: Why It Matters.” Profits from the fundraiser luncheon support More Women on the Move’s upcoming training series for those interested in learning more about running for public office or enhancing their leadership skills and expertise.
Future events will be held to encourage women in our community to band together and support each other. You can get involved as well as receive updates on the upcoming training and other events by submitting your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Women on the Move is hosting quarterly networking events locally to keep women connected and to continue to discuss issues that they care about in our community. Information about upcoming events can be found on Facebook by searching for More Women on the Move.
Brittney Marschall is co-chair of More Women on the Move. She is also a freelance writer and the founder of Rochester Health and Fitness. myrochesterhealthandfitness.com