While 2020 was a year of serious challenges, tragedies, and divisions, there were some bright spots. In this blog series, the IWF team looks back at the year’s highlights, silver linings, and redeeming themes as we countdown the days to 2021.
Undoubtedly, 2020 was a hard year for our country and all of us in many ways.
Yet, more than ever, I recognize how much there is to be thankful for, starting with the great people I work with and the organization I have the privilege of leading.
Independent Women’s Forum has always been dedicated to practicing what we preach in terms of being an employer that offers people a flexible work life. Everyone on our team works tremendously hard—and that was doubly true in a very busy and important 2020—but we also recognize and support people’s commitments outside of work.
IWF has been a fully virtual organization since 2011. In typical years, we have numerous all-staff meetings to bring people together, which we had to sacrifice in 2020, but we are used to staying in touch via conference calls, video chats, the phone, and on email. So we were well-positioned to transition to the lockdowns that came with COVID. Yet that didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of challenges: school and childcare closures meant that our staff was juggling more than ever and, of course, people faced health concerns for themselves and their loved ones.
But our team came together to help each other out. I remember just a few days into the school closures, one of our staffers who doesn’t have children reached out to those who do and offered to try to take on some of their projects to lighten their load. That is the attitude that has always animated IWF.
I’ve worked for IWF for 17 years now—a time that has included five kids and several international moves. I count myself beyond lucky to have had a job that allowed me to contribute to a cause I love, while also giving me the freedom and flexibility while supporting my family financially and by being there. The women I have the privilege of working with are thoughtful and funny, insightful and kind. They are confident in their beliefs, but humble enough to always want to listen to competing arguments and ideas.
There are many reasons to be thankful this year, in spite of COVID and all the difficulties it has created, but high on my list is this great organization and the people in it—and all of you who support us and make our work possible.
Stay tuned to the IWF blog for the rest of 2020 for daily entries in our Redemption Countdown.