By Diego Nascimento

For my special October Rose

Track with me: Ruth, a biblical character, faced the scorching sun to look after her mother who at that time were widows. Eleanor of Aquitaine died at eighty-two years and was one of the most prominent queens of the Middle Ages, where she oversaw a historic government marked by her intelligence (she was fluent in eight languages). Queen Victoria I of England ruled the United Kingdom for more than sixty years during the 19th century, and the Industrial Revolution was one of her greatest legacies. Princess Isabel, Brazilian royalty, signed the Golden Law in 1888 and took over the Empire during a very challenging period. Carlota Kemper was an American educator and entrepreneur who has changed the lives of many Brazilians. In 1869 she founded one of the oldest schools of the country; she died at the age of 90 in Minas Gerais with a glad heart for all she had accomplished. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly the Atlantic Ocean in 1928; she disappeared with her plane in 1937 trying to travel around the world. Winnie the Welder was one of the 2,000 women who worked on ships during World War II. Rachel de Queiroz, a writer, was the first woman to enter the Brazilian Academy of Letters. The Santa Catarina Zilda Arns broke all paradigms on taking over an international dimension project; she lost her life during an earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Maria da Penha leads movements in defense of women’s rights and gives her name to the law that increases the severity of punishments in cases of violence against women; she is in a wheelchair because of an attack by her spouse. Nilza is my mother. Today I woke up early to prepare breakfast, “wake up the house” and go to work.

I agree with you: the list is great but it could be much, much bigger. Throughout this month I have recorded videos and prepared messages that address the role of men and women in the workplace. During a recent broadcast I showed how women have an active participation in entrepreneurship, proven in numbers and international studies. My goal is not to say who is better or who comes out ahead; the point is to understand that the workplace is looking for talent and in this case, men and women are equal. There is room for everyone.

Recently I taught a lecture on “Teamwork” for an association of craftsmen. Over 90% of the audience was composed of female homemakers, who played a role in leadership and in some cases were providers at home. This scenario is repeated in every corner of the country. If we go to the executive branch, we will increasingly see women taking charge of important negotiations, mergers, etc. … It is evident that each group has its own peculiarities, but they lose too much time on unnecessary discussions because of prejudice (on both sides).

In my 15 years in the workplace I need to say and recognize that women have contributed significantly to my professional growth. They are part of my life and that includes those who are in my family. I am well aware that most will never be magazine cover stories or reports. So I titled this article the “The Heroine’s Silence.” There are many who fight silently for the sake of family, development, harmony, and in the deep abyss wipe away the tears originating from harassment, physical and verbal aggression, or simply indifference.

I would like to close by taking the liberty to once again change the traditional phrase quoted in speeches:  “It is not behind every great man there is a great woman; it is beside them or often ahead of them!

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