by Caroline Hakes
NeW at George Washington University
I was unbelievably thrilled to be able to attend the NeW 13th Anniversary Dinner. Having only lived in DC a month, I was excited to meet other conservative women in Washington, but I left even more excited for what I’m sure will be a wonderful journey with NeW.
Karin spoke about how NeW got its start and discussed how far the organization has come, and I found it incredible that she took the initiative to make her small student organization at UVA into a nationwide network of conservative young women like me.
Genevieve Wood’s speech to all of us was nothing short of inspiring. Her resume is absolutely impressive, yet she was so humble and so willing to share her experience and wisdom with us. Most successful women are eager to share their triumphs and not always as forthcoming about difficulties they have faced in their careers, but Genevieve was unbelievably candid about how things were not always easy. She told us that some of the men she worked with were much older and not always used to having a woman at such a high level job as she has at Heritage, but she also challenged the idea that women simply just do not get the same treatment in the workplace.
Genevieve encouraged us to be upfront down the road should we ever believe our salaries do not match the caliber of our work and to never think of ourselves as disadvantaged. Her experiences and insights proved to me that conservative women are as strong and empowering as liberal women, despite the false narrative the mainstream media tries to sell. She encouraged us to take advantage of our networking opportunities and to never be afraid to ask for help from those we meet as college students.
After her speech, I was able to speak with her personally and found her to be as warm and friendly as she is intelligent and sharp. She was eager to answer my friends’ and my questions and offer to help us should we ever need it. I have not met many conservative women in powerful positions in my short lifetime, but Genevieve Wood is now a role model for me. I hope that I can one day be as outspoken and successful as she is.
In the few months I have been involved with NeW, I have already been shown that it is possible to be an empowered woman without sacrificing conservative values. I cannot wait to learn more from women like Karin and Genevieve during my time as a member of the incredible sisterhood that is the Network of Enlightened Women.