Illuminating Our Adaptive Resiliency During a Most Unusual Year
Unprecedented, uncharted, inconceivable. We have heard these words repeatedly to describe 2020. A year hijacked by a pandemic and the terrible toll it had on the lives and welfare of our global society. And the news worsened with data revealing the virus’ disproportionate impact on women, particularly women of color.
We also witnessed the vivid images of racial injustice and the related tragedies that have impacted our colleagues of color. For far too long.
It was one challenging year, for the world at large and for our HBA community. But as we look back from the horizon of hope in this new year, it’s critically important to pause and reflect on the progress, brilliance and opportunity that arose from those very trying 365 days.
Like never before across the globe, women amplified their voices. From the voting booth to activism in social movements, women showed up at levels not seen since the 1960s. We also proudly observed women successfully securing seats in C-suites, in boardrooms, in research labs and at all levels of government— including the highest-ranking offices—and outperforming male leaders.
On the home front, our United Force for Change quickly embraced an adaptive resiliency. This strength—the gift to not only successfully overcome the unexpected but to thrive—resulted in one of HBA’s most productive, successful and rewarding years.
Our members, volunteers, corporate and media partners, leaders and staff demonstrated a herculean effort to quickly pivot, adapt and deliver:
- Meeting and responding to our community’s needs as our chapter and regional volunteer leaders reimagined in-person events into virtual opportunities and offered more than 650 events—the most ever.
- Evolving our signature Woman of the Year event into Illuminate. Not a replacement but a placeholder, this event showcased our industry successfully operating and shining during a pandemic. Numbers are the proof points. More than 6,500 registrants from 27 countries representing 439 industry organizations.
- Rallying to support our BIPOC colleagues and peers, HBA chapters hosted more than 15 events addressing racial inequities to reflect, listen and learn, and activate our members to collectively take action to advocate and progress change for ALL women.
- Raising our voices louder than ever to stand up, show up and speak up in greater quantity and frequency, with our social media community growing to nearly 70,000 followers, securing top media placements including USA Today, the Washington Post’s The Lily and Forbes (twice), and our member forum discussions up 110 percent over the previous year.
Yes, 2020 was a year like never before. And yet for the HBA, an opportunity presented itself to Illuminate our Impact like never before. On behalf of the HBA family, we thank you for supporting us on the 2020 journey.
We are indeed a United Force for Change.