As I pen this month’s message, it’s about as gloomy and cold here in Madison, as it was one month ago. This time, there’s no gorgeous view from a St. Martin terrace, only my back sunroom that is trying oh-so-hard to bring in what little light is sneaking in through the gray skyscape. Whenever spring finally decides to show up, I’ll be sure to head outside and enjoy it while it’s here.
Today, I am feeling proud. I am proud that TEMPO Madison continues to prove that it is on course with our mission to help elevate women of diverse backgrounds to their highest professional levels. We’ve come to be a group of women dedicated to supporting one another. Allow me to summarize some of the events and activities TEMPO Madison members took part in last month. These events not only showcased our support of women but also reflected how we can become their advocates and allies.
Who better to discuss the importance of being an ally to women than Missy Mael Co-Executive Director of RCC (the Rape Crisis Center) of Dane County? April was Sexual Assault Awareness month. We learned some hard truths at our luncheon about the prevalence of women who have been the victims of sexual abuse and assault. It leaves scars both physically and emotionally, robbing women of their self-confidence as so many incidences of abuse go unreported. Later in the month, RCC sponsored a free Chimera self-defense class. At the class we learned some assertive communication techniques and self-defense moves we can use in situations when we feel we are not being treated as we wish or are not being heard. It was an eye-opening class for me personally and it left me wanting to learn more and offer these classes to my mostly female staff.
Another example of TEMPO Madison’s commitment to being an advocate and ally to women was our latest Leadership Series Event. Our Leadership Series, which now has a six-year history, has been providing relevant sessions and events to elevate women leaders. This event’s theme was Building Relationships: How to Make Meaningful Connections. We heard from a panel of women leaders who have built success by making meaningful connections throughout their lives. They shared examples of being a mentor, mentee and advocate for themselves and other women. Their personal stories were moving and inspirational to us all.
We also celebrated our very own Executive Administrator, Erin Fabrizius. She was named by BRAVA Magazine as one of their 2022 Women to Watch. She is part of this year’s group of ten diverse women chosen for their leadership, work championing change and advocating for women, all in the name of building a better future for our community. After a few pandemic related delays, BRAVA’s soiree was held last month to honor the recipients. If you get a chance, take a moment at our next event to chat with Erin. She’s a fascinating woman and we are lucky to have her on our leadership team.
Finally, as an offshoot to our TEMPO Madison Scholarship Program, we ‘soft-launched’ a mentoring initiative last fall, with the initial goal of reconnecting with our former scholarship recipients, now college students. The TEMPO Madison board is working on a proposal to create an official Mentoring Committee whose charge will be to advocate for and be mentors not only to our scholarship students but also for our newer TEMPO Madison members. Think of it as a support system to help our newest members feel that they are connecting with TEMPO Madison and that they have an ambassador who can help them engage and get the most of out their membership. On the student side, we are working on building connections between the students and TEMPO Madison members. We will have more information to share as the initiative gains approval. It is just another example of TEMPO Madison exploring ways in which we can live up to our mission, which at its core is about being allies for women.
Cheers and see you soon!
Elaine Rich, TEMPO Madison President