When you Google the word “empowerment” (because no one uses paper dictionaries anymore), it is defined as “measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way.” This is a bit clunky for our taste, so we want to define it ourselves.
This is the first of six posts in our blog series surrounding empowerment, especially women’s empowerment. Jenna Oltersdorf, principal of Snackbox, was recently featured in Austin Woman Magazine as she spoke to “The Age of Empowerment,” what she loves about empowering others and what makes her feel empowered herself. Snackbox has a lot to say on the subject, and we want to share our wealth of knowledge with you. You’re welcome!
To Snackbox, empowerment means providing resources to ensure success. It means working together as a team to conquer a task (#TeamworkMakesTheDreamWork). It means showing support for each person when they need it, whether it surrounds work or their personal lives.
So why the heck is empowerment so important? In this day and age, women especially need to feel empowered. There are far fewer women than men in C-suite positions in our country, and far fewer running the country as well. It’s important for women to feel like they can take it upon themselves in getting to the job they want and speaking up when they want. We’ll talk more about how to empower women later in the series.
If you’re normal and like to keep up with what’s going on in the world, you probably watch/read/scroll through the news. There are quite a few outlets that work to publish empowering pieces. Huffington Post’s Women’s Empowerment section features articles that raise women up, highlight extraordinary women business leaders, etc. A recent piece by Bustle lists things you can do to be empowered for all of 2017. Another recent article by Aljazeera surrounds teaching empowerment, and how prison education in Kenya helps inmates learn how to read and write.
Empowerment can be done in many ways. Through this blog series, we’ll talk about some of those ways and how Snackbox has worked to empower its employees and the community.