“We are dealing with a patriarchal culture. The CULTURE must change. Women must intuitively understand, we do not need to behave like men to be in that world. We must bring the feminine back into balance with the masculine, don’t be one of the boys. Be a woman and beat the system with all that is feminine…”
In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Woman”?
The qualities that make a “Power Woman” to me are compassion, empathy, kindness, an unmistakable sense of self, and being comfortable in your own skin, as well as the ability to listen and consider, patience, resilience, and saying what you mean, and MEANING what you say.
With all the different issues one could focus on, how do you balance your efforts in pursuit of gender equality? Is it a global approach or a specific issue that you are passionate about?
I think for me it is BOTH! As I address the inequities in my own profession, I also support organizations that are working for GENDER FAIRNESS in other places in this country and the world.
If you could have someone else’s job for a day, who and what would it be? Why?
If I could have someone else’s job for a day it would be a neo-natal nurse. The idea of taking care of new life that is so delicate, fragile, and helpless, just brings me to my knees!
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Eleanor Roosevelt. In her quiet way, she wielded and “big stick” and affected CHANGE! And, she didn’t need to be Franklin to do it!
Are you involved in politics at the local or national level? Why or why not? In what way do you work for women’s power and equality? What do you think is the number one action we as a society can take (e.g. affirmative action)?
a) I am involved in politics both locally and nationally. I profoundly believe: “you have to be in it to win it!”
b) I work for women’s equality through organizations like FIGURE SKATING IN HARLEM. It focuses on helping young girls to become well-rounded citizens who are prepared to take on the world. Performing arts center HARLEM STAGE, which, through the art, presents works that take on the societal and political issues in our country and the world through entertainment. And, I just speak up when something is not right, when I see it!
c) The number one action we can take as a society is to stop accepting “divide and conquer” and come together to meet the needs of us all.
What issues in the workplace contribute most to the gender pay gap: Accessibility? Unconscious bias (including questions about previous salary requirements)? Economic? Reproductive? Or some other nefarious reason. Why do you think these are still challenges we face?
ALL OF THE ABOVE. We are dealing with a patriarchal culture. The CULTURE must change. Women must intuitively understand that we do not need to behave like men to be in that world. We must bring the feminine back into balance with the masculine, don’t be one of the boys. Be a woman and beat the system with all that is feminine.
Do you think that asking previous salary requirements in job interviews contributes to the pay gap between women and men? NY State recently outlawed this practice. Should we push for a nationwide ban?
YES, IT DOES, AND YES WE SHOULD.
Have you seen any changes in the political landscape for women over the past few years? If so, what are they?
Yes. I see more and more women stepping into the political arena, and we must be at the table to continue to affect change.
Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?
For me, I don’t think it was ONE moment. It was many–a series of life moments over many years that culminated into where I am today.
Do you believe that open access to porn (including violent video games, social media etc.) contributes to gender inequality and violence against women?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
JUST DO IT.
There are many studies that support the idea that a female presence in the boardroom increases the bottom line and leads to healthier work environments. What can we do to continue to support and enhance the growth and presence of women in high profile positions?
Demand them. Insist upon that presence. And, at the end of the day, let your SPENDING be your weapon. In our society, money talks!
Who do you most admire? Why?
My mother, Evelyn “GG” Tunie, because she embodies all the characters I listed in the first question.
What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?
THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE.
What do you most value in your friends?
Their PRESENCE in my life.
Which trait do you most deplore in yourself? In others?
Blind loyalty. Sometimes I am LOYAL to a FAULT. It takes me too long to see the toxicity or destruction in some people or relationships. In others: IGNORANCE.
What do you consider the most over rated virtue?
RIGHTEOUSNESS. It has been abused and misused for MILLENIA!