History was made in Philadelphia.
For the first time in the 240 years that America has existed, a woman was nominated for president by a major political party. Regardless of your political ideology, this is truly the largest crack in the glass ceiling and one that I am proud to have witnessed.
This point in history is especially significant now, as we will soon mark the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which was ratified on August 18, 1920. In the 96 years since women were given the right to vote, we have made great strides in equality. From education to employment, women today have so many opportunities.
These opportunities, coupled with hard work, have enabled me to receive an exceptional education including a post-graduate degree. These opportunities have allowed me to enter the corporate world and to grow and excel in each new role I have been given. These opportunities have given me the ability to sponsor an initiative close to my heart: the creation of Step Forward, an employee group focused on giving the women of Konica Minolta ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals.
Step Forward was created one year ago so that we could not only acknowledge the needs and concerns of women in the workplace but we could address and solve them. This past year has been a platform for all employees across the organization to have the conversations necessary to move not only Konica Minolta forward but to also enrich our most valuable asset: our people. At each monthly meeting, more than 100 employees working at our corporate headquarters gather to hear expert insights and begin dialogs that they can take back to their own teams and families. After Step Forward was launched, we also created an employee user group so that internal conversations could continue across the entire company. To date, we have 826 members!
Our support for women reaches outside our own walls. We are also passionate about supporting women as they begin their careers. This year, we have created the Konica Minolta Women in Technology Scholarship, which aims to support future female leaders who will break boundaries in technology. We will award one $2,500 scholarship to a female who is studying science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) or another related document management field. The scholarship is administered by the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF) and will be celebrated during Graph Expo on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.
This is a reflection of our commitment to develop talent: the innovators and creators of the future.
Our corporate commitment reflects what is happening in our country. As the mother of three girls, I am excited about their future. It is wide open. Growing up, I could dream of infinite possibilities, but there were few role models. Today, my girls can look to Hillary Clinton, Sally Ride, Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer. Trailblazers who have turned improbabilities into actualities.
I am proud to be an employee at Konica Minolta, a company that is encouraging women to pursue their ambitions. The strides that we are making here are a microcosm of the history that was made in Philadelphia. A step forward for one woman is a step forward for all women.