How St. Louis women are helping others grow professionally | St. Louis Public Radio

How St. Louis women are helping others grow professionally

Dec 14, 2018

2018 has been coined as another “year of the woman” due to the political strides made during the midterm elections, where women voting in record-breaking numbers and entered more political offices. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh explored other platforms where women are advancing and how various local organizations are creating environments for women to thrive and grow professionally.

Joining Marsh were three women whose organizations are collaborating and focusing on empowering women in the workplace. 

Amina Musa is an associate lawyer at Thompson Coburn. She said more visibility of women’s accomplishments has translated well in the workplace. Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, business counselor for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis, agreed.

“That’s great for overall business,” Ramírez-Arellano said. “We’ve seen a great number of organizations and companies that are being started by women,” adding that there are more than 162,000 organizations and businesses started this year in Missouri.

Kristy Jackson, CEO of and consultant at DK Solutions, added that women have “performed amazingly through all of time.”

“But I will say, within the last year, there has been more intentionality about supporting women in business and entrepreneurship and honoring the diverse needs of women: celebrating the mothers in the workplace and single parents … women of color and really drilling into the specific needs and providing more collaborations where we can come together and have spaces to really talk about those needs,” Jackson explained.

She founded Girls Lead And Make Moves, a leadership and entrepreneurship program designed to close the gender and education opportunity gap for young women of color.

The Muslim Women’s Professional Network-St. Louis, which Musa co-founded, also helps to create a space for Muslim women of various professions get together to share their personal experiences in the workplace and share advice on how to navigate differences they might face.

"But I will say, within the last year, there has been more intentionality about supporting women in business and entrepreneurship and honoring the diverse needs of women."

“There are definitely a lot of unique struggles that Muslim women face in the professional environment,” Musa explained. “That could be those implicit biases that people hold about perception of Muslim women … [or] lifestyle differences perhaps.”

Jackson added that the practice of inclusion is “about validating both [identities].”

“It’s not ‘either or’ – it’s about ‘both and’ – and so when we can understand that we are better together, I think that we will go further faster,” she said.

All three women stressed the importance of mentorship programs and explained how their organizations created mentorships, which ultimately creates a pipeline of vast resources and networking opportunities for other women.

Listen to the full conversation to hear Musa, Ramírez-Arellano and Jackson’s organizations collaborate and work to advance opportunities for women in the workplace: 

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.