Chrysalis’ director Terry Hernandez talks women in leadership at Upper Iowa University Leadership Series event

Women make up 51 percent of Iowa’s population — over half the population. . However, the state has a long way to go to supporting equality, according to the leader of an organization helping women and girls.  Terry Hernandez is the executive director of Chrysalis, the leading community foundation in central Iowa dedicated to building stronger futures for women and girls.  Hernandez, an inductee to the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame, spoke at Upper Iowa University about “Women in Leadrership.”

Hernandez noted that Iowa is one of four states in the United States to never have elected a woman to a seat in the U.S. Congress. Iowa is only one of two states to have never elected a woman governor. Only 23 percent of the state legislature is female. And, only two of 108 Iowa Supreme Court justices were female, she added.

“We need to do better,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez spoke on the UIU Fayette campus March 24 thanks to the Upper Iowa University Office of Student Development in collaboration with the Alumni & Advancement Office and Student Government Association. She was the final speaker for the University’s month-long dedication to March: Women’s History Month.

Hernandez also spoke about a “general misconception that the American media is liberal; however it is not.”  Hernandez illustrated her point by showing real ads depicting women in settings of sex and violence to sell products and by juxtaposing photos of real people next to the extremely airbrushed versions of themselves used by the media.

An example:



She also addressed the barriers that women set for themselves, which include not wanting others to view them in an unfavorable light. Hernandez showed a commercial produced to advertise Pantene that is based on a common double standard in society where men are viewed as the boss and persuasive; while women in those same positions are viewed as bossy and pushy.

Watch it here.

Hernandez urged the audience to be a voice. Stand up for women’s rights and ask questions about why women are being portrayed in such a manner that it perpetuates the misogynistic view of women as not been capable of leading.

Read more about Hernandez in an earlier Peacock Tales blog here.

Watch Hernandez’s presentation here.

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