Guest Post by Charlotte Sawyer
“Fearless,” “determined,” “passionate” – these were just some of the words members of the NeW DC Young Professionals Chapter used to describe Amelia Earhart. At their two most recent meetings in February and March, they read East to Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Susan Butler.
The biography provoked meaningful discussion and raised thoughtful questions, particularly about the implications Amelia’s historic flying career had on future generations of career-focused women. One especially captivating facet of Amelia’s story was her desire and resolve to buck tradition in favor of different career and life choices. She was admired for this trait and many of the NeW DC members wondered if and how the societal expectations of a woman has changed in today’s times.
Amelia’s career in flying was supported by her parents, but it was not the typical career route for a woman in that day. Amelia and her peers were encouraged to pursue marriage and motherhood. NeW ladies personally found Amelia’s decision- not to succumb to it and instead follow her heart and dreams- refreshing, candid, and could sympathize with the same societal pressures women face today.
In a world where failure is so often swept under the rug and seen as something to be ashamed of, the Amelia Earhart autobiography gave an interesting glimpse into how Amelia’s failures were critical in shaping her career and life path. An important takeaway from her failures is how she bounced back and continued to strive to become better each day, regardless of the challenges she knew lay ahead of her.
Many young, post-grad, women, struggle to find out what their career calling is and it was comforting to know that even Amelia Earhart was not immune to these feelings. The NeW ladies learned that Amelia’s career was a journey of ups and downs and that it was ultimately her attitude that propelled her to success most likely beyond her, and others’, wildest dreams and expectations.
Want to join the discussion, become a part of the NeW DC Young Professional Chapter by emailing NeWDC@enlightenedwomen.org.