Celebrating Women


Authored by RSM US LLP

As the national leader of RSM’s women’s employee network group (ENG), STAR (Stewardship. Teamwork. Advancement. Retention) – and as a woman, obviously I care deeply about issues affecting women. And as a partner at RSM, I’m particularly interested in helping to create a work environment that’s inclusive and welcoming to everyone.

Through our STAR ENG, we create opportunities to build up the women in our firm, helping them hone skills to make them successful in the workplace. But it doesn’t stop there. We offer training, education and networking opportunities to help women advance, and we have courageous conversations to build understanding and relationships. In fact, you can watch this “Inclusion Starts with I” video hosted by our Managing Partner and CEO Joe Adams with members of our STAR ENG (including yours truly) for one of those recent discussions. And we celebrate one another’s successes. Over the past few months, we’ve also celebrated many historical gender equity moments in the world at large. And in recognition of International Women’s Day, members of RSM International are showing their support of women on social media using #ChooseToChallenge.

With the inauguration of Kamala Harris as the first woman and first woman of color to serve as vice president of the United States, for example, women of all political affiliations celebrated how she shattered yet another glass ceiling. During her acceptance speech as vice president-elect, she vowed “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

Vice President Harris is also part of a history-making Cabinet. If all are confirmed, the Biden administration’s cabinet will include 12 female cabinet or cabinet-level positions, including eight women of color.

There is also a record number of women serving in the 117th Congress. Together, 144 women are serving in the House of Representatives and the Senate – making up 27% of Congress. While this is a 50% increase from a decade ago, it’s still well below the percentage of women in the U.S.

Seeing more gender diversity in the highest ranks of the U.S. government provides hope for a more diverse and prosperous future, but there’s still work to be done.

Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might have said it best: "When I'm sometimes asked 'When will there be enough (women on the Supreme Court)?' and my answer is: 'When there are nine.' People are shocked. But there'd been nine men, and nobody's ever raised a question about that."

In recognition of International Women’s Day, I find myself reflecting on the journey to equality women are on, while celebrating the strides that we’ve made. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating our successes while remaining focused on the road ahead.

As Justice Ginsburg says, “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”

Dara Castle

Partner and National STAR Employee Network Group Leader