For Women’s History Month this March, DWN invited a variety guest authors to share their insights. Read on to see why #DePaulWomenRock!
By Phyllis A. Gregg
Americans take pride in our independence. From the moment of birth we are taught to be independent, to “go it alone,” to be tough. While being independent and self-sufficient are admirable qualities, I find myself concerned when I see people, especially women, exclude themselves from the opportunity of community. There’s power in community, so consider this a call for a change. Let’s move from independence to interdependence.
To be clear, interdependence isn’t a sign of weakness. Rather, interdependence is a source of power, that’s why women’s networks matter. A women’s network is a vital resource. While women are powerful in their own right (let’s face it, a woman on a mission is a force), when you connect with other women you maximize your power. Today I challenge you to exercise your wisdom and recognize the power of a network.
I know first-hand what a network can do. Over the course of my career I built a network of friends and family, colleagues and professional contacts. My network is a source of strength and a place of refreshment. What does my network do for me? If I need to think through an idea, I reach out to my network. If I need a laugh (and who doesn’t need a laugh), I turn to my network. If I need the comfort of companionship, I relax with my network. The women and men in my network come from all walks of life, and it is their diversity that gives me the courage to meet the challenges facing me. My network empowers and spurs me on to embrace my full potential.
I hope my sharing inspires you to reach out to others and allow others to reach out to you. So many women tell me they don’t have time to network. However, the reality is that you cannot afford to not be part of a network. Without a network, you close yourself off, stifling your personal and professional development. Networking is you investing in yourself and in others. It takes very little to get started but once you do, the returns are incredible!
Phyllis A. Gregg, M.A., joined the DePaul University community in 1992 as an evening coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and currently works in the Office of the President as a Senior Executive Assistant.
She is a doctoral student at DePaul University, Board President of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education and, through the Office of Faith-based Initiatives with the Chicago Public School system, has created and implemented an anti-bullying curriculum for the Safehaven program.
Phyllis is a motivational speaker on issues pertaining to women, spirituality and wholeness, and on topics related to exploring the soul. She spends her evenings in the company of her husband, Gregory, her daughter, Lindsey, and her four grandchildren, Ashleigh, Kevin, Sarah and Kelly.
(Learn more about being part of the DePaul Women’s Network now during recruitment for 2014-15!)