If you are interested in women’s empowerment, PLEN is the definition of empowering women. This organization grants women access to other women who have found a place within the policy making process. Surprisingly, there is more than one way to influence policy, and these policy making women are more than willing to share qualities that have aided them to successfully gain a voice. They use PLEN as a lifelong network, sharing knowledge with younger women and fostering qualities that will help any person fight against inequalities efficiently.
As a senior at DePauw University, I write in the school newspaper about changing policies here on campus. The knowledge acquired at this seminar has definitely granted me with the next steps that I have to take in order to see change on my campus. The most repeated quote during this seminar was: “Politics are local.” Local for me and many other students is on campus. Every quality that these women pointed out as vital–such as being persistent, knowing your politics, and branding yourself–I have taken back to my school in order to make change. After I graduate, these are definitely qualities and tactics that I can take home to St. Louis, Mo.
PLEN provided me the skills that will last me a lifetime. I truly believe these skills will help me gain power no matter where I am located. This seminar has made the world a lot less intimidating, as I was able to see myself within the women of color, some with similar personal stories to my own. Now that I have made PLEN a connection for a lifetime, I feel that I can have a larger influence on policy than I ever believed before. PLEN reassured me that I am great and will become even greater.
Taylor Jones attended the 2016 Women in Public Policy seminar as a senior at DePauw University.