Women and Men, Career, Life and Their Choices

Tips and Observations, Inspired By “Makers: Women Who Make America”


Watching a recent PBS broadcast “Makers: Women Who Make America” was a moving experience for me. Whew, I didn’t realize how much time had gone by. Many of the stories and events described in the telecast happened in my lifetime, while I was busy experiencing much of what was discussed. The timeline of events revealed seeds of the change, the catalysts that altered roles of men and women in business and in life.

A bit of trivia was revealed in a look back to Ellen DeGeneres’ first performance on “The Tonight Show” in 1986: Did you know she was the first female comedian invited to sit on the couch and talk to Johnny? Was that even obvious to us at the time? In contrast to that, I learned that women today are ambivalent about the women’s movement in spite of the enormous difference it has made in their lives. Many of their mothers marched on Fifth Avenue in New York, read Ms. magazine, supported the first female politician from Colorado ever elected to Congress (Patricia Schroeder) applauded the appointment of the first woman to the Supreme Court (Sandra Day O’Connor) and helped to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. This next generation grew up thinking that their mothers’ efforts were unnecessarily emphasized and overly dramatic.

As you read this sequel to my last post, Tips for Career Success, please stay with me. While it may seem like I am speaking to women, there are tips and suggestions here that benefit all of us—a workforce within a community and in a world working together.

We all get so many messages—how to be, what to do, how to have the right career or not and how to be OK with it, whom to like and whom not to like—and sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are one group of people, living on one planet, and that we would be better off if we considered ourselves equal. Maybe even the expression “having it all” is overly used. Who wouldn’t want to have everything but knows they can’t? Peter Pan pointed this out to Wendy: “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter
Andrea Cotter is the Founder and President of Virgilio & Cotter, LLC where she focuses on Marketing and Communications Strategies specializing in the Health Care industries. She also teaches C-Suite Leadership in her role as an adjunct faculty member at NYU's School of Professional Studies. In addition to her own company, Andrea has had both a corporate and entrepreneurial career in marketing and communications as a Global Executive at IBM Corporation and as SVP and Chief Communications Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), followed by a brand consultancy role at Straightline and a partnership in the workplace culture startup CultureTalk. She speaks several languages, including Spanish, Italian and French has done consulting work with clients in Europe, US and Asia.

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