Looking back at history to present day, women have come a long way.
“We can vote. We can own land. We can own a business,” said Deborah Deal-Blackwell, chair of Jefferson County’s 2017 International Women’s Day celebration.
Women represent state districts in governmental positions and make important policy decisions in numerous cities and counties. And someday, Deal-Blackwell added, a woman may even lead our country.
Jefferson County’s second annual International Women’s Day celebration took place on March 8. Hundreds of women attended the luncheon, during which local women celebrated each other’s accomplishments.
In the U.S., 9.4 million firms are owned by women, Deal-Blackwell said, and Jefferson County has at least 30 woman-owned businesses. In addition, Jeffco is home to seven chambers of commerce, and all of them have women presidents.
The 2017 United Nations’ theme for International Women’s Day was STEP it up for Gender Parity, and the theme for the Jeffco celebration was STEP it up for Women in STEM and all Women of Jefferson County!
A couple of county leaders spoke on the accomplishments of women, including Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan and Nancy Perlmutter, who read a letter from her husband, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District.
To coincide with the Jeffco theme, the keynote speaker was Dr. Tracy Camp, the division director and professor of computer science at Colorado School of Mines. Camp has been with Mines since 1998 and has been awarded two fellowships in her career.
Camp is known for her passion for supporting women in STEM disciplines, and she created the DECTech program at Mines, an outreach program designed specifically for young girls interested in STEM subjects.
Diversity in STEM careers is important, Camp said.
“Research shows that diversity brings innovative thinking, increased corporate earnings, more IT patent citations, and allows products and services to be developed for the betterment of all of society,” she said.