Last week, our newspaper had the opportunity to participate in the Utah Women and Leadership’s (UWLP) Speaker & Dialogue Series, based out of Utah Valley University with the aim to strengthen the impact of women and girls and publishing research with impact recommendations that direct the public and leaders to resources.
A couple hundred women from across the area gathered at UVU because they were curious and invested around the topic “Make a Stronger Impact in Utah & Beyond: Unleash Your Power as Women to Do Good!”
There’s a lot of good Utah women have the potential for.
Sadly, women’s voices are not nearly as vocal or as present in the places where decisions are made and opinions are shared.
In research by national news media organizations over the decades, it’s been found that on average at multiple large newspapers, women contribute less than 20% of opinion pieces on significant issues like foreign policy or national security.
Why does women’s participation in this dialogue matter?
Utah Women and Leadership Project found in January 2015 that women approach issues much differently than men, looking for win-win situations instead of win-lose or even asking different questions.
“For example, within the political and governmental sectors, women bring diverse life experiences, policy perspectives, and concerns that differ from those of men,” the report states.
As women are currently underrepresented in nearly every form of government throughout the state, it is incredibly important to publish and publicize your viewpoints; our communities are stronger when we hear from those with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
So, we invite the women of Utah County and beyond to participate. We invite you to submit letters to the editor on issues that concern you, guest op-eds, and even story tips you think our reporters should vet and share. You can reach our newsroom by emailing or calling 801-344-2560.
Speech — and publishing your opinions — is a crucial way of participation that shapes the perception of those in authority, whether that’s in your neighborhood, city government, faith congregation, office or someone with whom you do business.
You don’t need to have a Ph.D. in a subject in order to share a message or story and make a difference. And given the lower rates at which we receive and hear women’s concerns, you cannot drive too much conversation about an important issue facing the public in Utah.
We know Utah women are talented, capable and committed to serving others; it is one reason why women excel at advocating for social change.
Women have the potential to make a far greater impact in our state and county than what is currently being done. We urge you to find and commit to just one opportunity to begin with that is already within your realm influence where you can speak up and share your truth.