The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

WINR speaker promotes perseverance

By Emily Coucgman/reporter

Women historically have been paid less than men for the same jobs, said the diversity relationship manager at Prudential Financial during a student success seminar Nov. 3.

Catherine Simpson presented Women in Control Taking Charge in 2011 — Exploring Our Options Together, hosted by the South Campus Women in New Roles program.

“Did you know that 51 percent are women in the work force? Only 49 percent are men,” she said.

In the 1890s, women were allowed to do only certain jobs. They were limited to positions like sewing, boarding house work, field work and, if desperate, saloon jobs, Simpson said.

The ability to live in a place and era that allows a woman to make a good living if she sets her mind to it is an amazing thing, Simpson said.

More and more women are going back to school, graduating with higher degrees and becoming CEOs than ever before.

Simpson said women have accomplished a great deal over the years, but they still have more to do.

“Over 700,000 women will lose their husband every year. Fifty-one percent of all women are single either through divorce or being widowed,” she said. “And I want you to sense that you are not alone.”

Simpson shared her story of being a young divorced mother with small children, returning to college and rising to become a corporate executive with a large financial corporation.

“I know what it’s like to have to start over,” she said. ”Believe me when I say, I have tried just about every crummy job you can try. But it’s good to try things so that you can figure out what you really want to do.”

Simpson offered advice for transitioning women.

“Draft a statement of direction for the next year, five years and 10 years,” she said.

Simpson suggested students make three circles.

In the first, they should put what they want to do. In the second, they put what they want to make. And in the third, put when they want to accomplish those goals.

“The key is when you know what you want in words to put it in action,” she said.

Simpson said Prudential has a program that gives women the opportunity to find a job within the company. It helps teach transitioning women how to start again and learn how to provide for themselves after life-changing situations. She then introduced Heather Wolfe, financial professional associate for Prudential, who achieved that goal.

Wolfe’s story is very similar to Simpson’s. She too had divorced young with no education or place to turn.

Wolfe said she worked her way through the divorce, found a job and graduated from college.

“It’s important to love what you do. I love what I do,” she said. “Yes, I go home sometimes exhausted, but when you love what you’re doing, you may go to bed tired, but you can go to bed happy.”

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