I had the honor of addressing firefighters in Greece and deliver a message for International Women’s Day. I thought I would share that message with all of you:
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I am honored to deliver this message to you. For me, International Women’s Day is about three things. The first is, Reflection. Reflecting on and celebrating what women have achieved is key. Celebrating those women who have been pioneers and have laid the foundation for many of us is so important. I encourage each of you to reach out and say thank you to the women who came before you. These are the women who paved the way so that you could claim your seat at the table. Some of you might be “that woman” that we need to thank. I thank you. You might be like me, and have been the first woman to serve on your department or as an officer of your association. Thank you for being brave enough to be the first and standing up for change.
The second is to Recognize. It is important to recognize the struggles that women are still facing in our industry and globally. Despite all of the proven achievements and abilities of women, the voices of women are still overlooked and ignored in some places. Until every voice is recognized, and every member is valued, we need to continue to recognize a need to promote diversity and inclusion.
The third is to Reinforce. We need to reinforce a culture of encouragement. We need to work together to help other women succeed. We need to make sure that every sister knows that as she steps outside of her comfort zone, that there is a support network behind her. A network of both men and women who are ready to help her reach her goals. We can achieve so much more by collectively working as a team. As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, I want to encourage all of you to be the positive difference we need in this world. Together we can make an impact.”
Dr. Candice McDonald