Empower Him and EmpowHER: Gender Equality 


A new club designed to empower all women and promote gender equality has been started at Mayo High School: EmpowHER. Led twice a month by five sophomores, this club is held in Mrs. Alexander’s room on every first and last Monday of each month. Every month the leaders choose a topic to focus on. Some examples of previous topics include unconscious gender bias and women in leadership positions. The club wants to create and promote equality among the student body, as well as within the community. By providing reliable information on various topics regarding issues women face globally, the leaders hope they will inspire others to contribute to the fight against gender inequality. 

Advisor of the club, Mrs. Meg Alexander, an English 9 Honors and speech teacher at Mayo, has always been passionate about standing up for women’s rights. She tries her best to get out into the community to spread awareness, saying “I’ve participated in marches, donated to female positivity organizations, and done what I can to to support those businesses, but the most important thing I’ve done is educate myself.” The five sophomore leaders also have a similar view on things. This is the first club that discusses these sorts of topics, which came as a surprise to many of the leaders. Sophomore Abby Wigle says “Equality is such a big issue and topic that I thought for sure people would care enough to make a club.” She along with a few of her peers were eager to start the club because gender inequalities are so prevalent in today’s society. Together they work to create a safe space for everyone’s voices and stories to be heard. 

Since EmpowHER is new, they are still trying to find their footing when it comes to establishing themselves in the school and community. Faced with a pandemic, the leaders had to shift their thinking and ideas to be COVID-19 friendly. They have held meetings on a Google Meet a t the same time as if they were in person. This still allows them to be able to connect with members of the club and have important conversations on these topics. However, this is not their ideal version of the club.

The extensive amount of time spent at home has allowed for the leaders to think about the finer details regarding the club. Earlier in the year, members created blankets to donate to the local Women’s Shelter as part of a service project. They had planned and hoped to do more projects like this, but unfortunately many had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

In the future, the leaders look to expand their club even more and develop more hands-on activities. The club itself is still in the developmental stages, and there are many ideas that are in the process. Although the club is focused around issues regarding women, they want to make everyone feel included, regardless of gender. All five student leaders are sophomore girls, but leader Gina Nguyen says they are “currently working on making the club more gender inclusive by making applications for consideration from interested male candidates” in the hope of finding a male executive officer to create a more unbiased set of opinions. 

With school about to be back in session, the leaders are eager to have in-person meetings. There will still be an online option for students continuing with distance learning. They want to make sure that anyone interested can participate in these discussions, as they are such a big issue in today’s world. 

Silhouette graphic citation:

“Silhouette” by Ashley Campbell Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0 CC Search (creativecommons.org)