What started out as a weeklong celebration in 1981, Women’s History Month has grown to be a time to celebrate and honor the achievements of women for the entire month of March. This month, we’re celebrating women throughout history and today who have made an impact in our community.
In Northern Colorado, women have a rich history. From Elizabeth “Auntie” Stone, known as the Founding Mother of Fort Collins, to Jovita Lobato, the first Mexican-American to graduate from CSU, throughout time women have made an impact in Larimer County. If you’d like to learn more about the women’s history in our community, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and Poudre River Library District have an amazing website here full of photographs, historical documents, and oral histories.
As we remember all the strong women of the past, we look to our current and future women leaders who continue the progress and vision for a Larimer United. Larimer County communities embrace the power of women leadership.
“Women in leadership roles is essential to the compassion, impact, and sustainability across the sectors of businesses, nonprofits, and government in Larimer County. Leveraging and valuing young female leadership in the workplace creates a commitment to driving progress and ensures representation.”– Cato Kraft, Executive Director of the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center
Did you know that Larimer County Chamber of Commerce organizations are women-led? Estes Park, Loveland, and Fort Collins also have women mayoral leadership. In 2019, President McConnell became Colorado State University’s first woman President, and the City of Fort Collins Interim City Manager is a woman. Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt shared with us, “Fort Collins has a long history of women in leadership roles—serving as Mayors, Congress representatives, Council members and now as President of Colorado State University, the United Way, Chamber of Commerce and many other positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Balanced leadership has created a cohesive, inclusive and welcoming community.“
“Women make up slightly more than 50% of our population. It is essential that women and their perspectives are heard in board rooms, in corporate leadership roles, and at every level of government. I can say, unequivocally, that my life experiences as a woman are vastly different than what they would have been had I been born a male. The days of men speaking for women, the days of men making decisions for women are thankfully becoming a thing of the past. I encourage all girls and women to speak up and to take their rightful place at the table in all arenas and in all decisions, period!”– Loveland Mayor, Jacki Marsh
Northern Colorado, our state, and our country have come a long way in celebrating the skills and courage of women who have come before us. While March is a celebration of the strength of women, it’s important that we continue year-round to be inclusive and elevate our future leaders, doctors, engineers, professors, all career paths and remain united to strengthen our communities.