Written by Dr. Vanessa Y.S. Onipede
Who are the born trailblazers and glass ceiling breakers, born during the boom of 1946-64? They are not the “softer -sex”; they led movements to liberate themselves while advocating peace and civil rights for all people. Who are these FEARLESS females, and where are they now? Well look in the mirror…
In the late 60s, the women of this era known as the “baby boomers” took the workplace by storm; the embodiment of the word multifaceted wearing the hats of activist, employee, wife, and mother. Over the past five decades, the countless contributions of women boomers have truly redefined the landscape of home and work life for all future generations.
Today, as the last of the boomers turn fifty and others enter retirement, ready to write a new chapter in their adventurous non-fiction, the celebration is cut short. This new chapter has a bitter taste that is reminiscent of the painful struggles of years passed. You see, although roles of mother and employee have evolved into empty-nester and senior level executive the fight for race and gender equality and voter rights are still the issues of the day. According to Pew Research studies, an overwhelming 80% of boomers polled online expressed their dissatisfaction with the state of our country on a range of social issues.
Additionally, the advent of the internet and heighten popularity of social media have also been shaped by the boomer generation. According to recent studies, baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online and 1 in 3 online seniors aka silver surfers actively use social media, the vast majority of these being women. Many of these silver surfers use the web and social media to stay connected to the world around them. Although latecomers to the digital age, the boomer generation is not only rapidly closing the social media gap but has leveraged its use to inform others of the call to action. The cries of mothers’ of slain children, the victimization of our women and young girls, and the inequalities of race and gender across the country have been echoed around the world through social media vehicles such as Facebook. Once again our FEARLESS female boomers have answered the call.
Baby boomers, the parents of GenX and Millennials have raised their voices in protest and are marching alongside their children and grandchildren in efforts to produce sustainable social change. Our boomers, approaching fifty and seventy are armed with the tools of today and in the fight of power & equality of yesterday. They are redefining FEARLESS because their passion and adaptability fuel our struggle to secure a brighter tomorrow.
To our FEARLESS females advocating social change past and present: J. Tarika Lewis, Helene Gayle, Sonia Sotomayor, Oprah Winfrey, and our mothers and grandmothers, we salute you!!
Dr. Vanessa Y.S. Onipede affectionately referred to by her colleagues and clients as Dr. V is an industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologist, founder of an international organizational development (OD) firm, and an empowerment speaker. In the community-at-large, she is known for her passion for learning and promoting the education and development of underserved populations primarily youth and women.