It’s time to #PressforProgress.
Thursday, March 8, 2018, marked the 117th annual International Women’s Day, a worldwide celebration of achievement, unity and the drive for equality. ACTIVE Network rallied around this year’s theme of “Press for Progress” through empowering words and actions.
Spearheaded by parent company Global Payments, ACTIVE’s offices in Dallas, Vancouver and Asia hosted events to honor the occasion. Kristen Sudela, Coordinator of Engagement and Wellness, along with Niki Buehs, Sales Trainer, organized a breakfast and panel discussion in the Dallas Headquarters. Their early-rising team provided coffee, pastries and the perfect setting for ACTIVE employees to be inspired on International Women’s Day.
“Today is about celebrating how you pursue your best life both inside the ACTIVE offices and out in the world,” said Sudela in her energizing introduction.
ACTIVE’s Senior Director of UX, Dr. Rebecca Baker, took the stage as moderator. An author, patent-holder and frequent speaker herself, she introduced an accomplished trio of panelists:
- Leslie Hassler: Author, business coach and President Elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners DFW (NAWBO)
- Chelsea Tiner: 14-time IRONMAN Finisher, four-time Kona IRONMAN World Championship Finisher, Santa Rosa IRONMAN Champion 2017 and founder of the CT Agency
- Valerie Watson: ACTIVE Senior Manager of Program Management and Community Engagement Chair of the non-profit, Girls on the Run
Dr. Baker presented a series of personal and professional questions to the panel and asked how they’re ‘pressing for progress.’
Q: What kind of challenges have you faced?
“I’ve always been in a male-dominated field,” Leslie Hassler said. “But, as women, one of the biggest challenges we face is respecting ourselves.” She added that this is also a “human problem,” challenging women and men in all walks of life.
Q: Global Payments, our parent company, promotes diversity and inclusion within the workplace. How do you promote diversity and inclusion efforts?
“Not all my athletes look like me,” Chelsea Tiner responded. Coaching individuals at all ages and levels, she has learned, “It’s not just about chasing first place. We’re all going after [our own] finish line.”
Q: This International Women’s Day, we are proud to honor and celebrate women everywhere. How does your organization honor and celebrate women?
Girls on the Run promotes self-esteem and healthy lifestyles in girls through running. Valerie Watson described the group’s Energy Awards–anytime, anywhere tributes from one girl to another. She explains, “Some days you don’t set a new personal record, but you still came out and did it!”
Q: The 2018 International Women’s Day theme is #pressforprogress. Tell us about a time you personified the theme.
“Everything I have in my life now are things I told myself as a child that I wanted,” said Hassler, describing a difficult adolescence and her determination to overcome its challenges. She continues to strive for positive movement in her life and the lives of the women she coaches, asking, “What’s the new dream? Every day I push for progress.”
Tiner highlighted the 50 Women to Kona movement, which successfully pushed for an equal number of starting slots for men and women in the prestigious IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii. She said, “There will now be an equal stage.”
Following the inspiring panel, ACTIVE staffers were encouraged to participate in a clothing drive for Dress for Success to benefit women working toward economic independence. A trip to the Girls on the Run website was also encouraged, to explore coaching and volunteer opportunities.
Global Payments supports and partners with organizations including the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Foundation (IWEC), Women in Technology (WIT) and WNet (Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions) and would like to thank all of the women who drive us forward and for making valuable contributions to our company.