The power of Wisconsin Women by Abby Kiefer

The daughter of a world-class educator and the granddaughter of the owner of the General Store, my story was made possible by Wisconsin women.

With a deep innate drive for hard work and perfection, I was born to a line of strong, powerful Wisconsin women. Boundaries within the walls of my family homes have no interest in gender roles. Growing up, I saw my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother chase success however they defined it. The women in my family teach generations of kids, they tour as professional athletes, and they run successful small businesses. They were respected and supported by my family. Outside of the comfort of home, I had a community of women raising me too. They were statewide political leaders, international representatives for peace, and opera singers.

The Wisconsin women who raised me are their generations’ manifestation of what Wisconsin women have been for centuries: strong, multifaceted, and cutting edge. They didn’t ask for special attention or conditions but instead commanded respect, their fair share, and modeled a way of being that is an example for all Wisconsinites.

There are women across Wisconsin today living this legacy. They are farmers working their family’s land, spreading wisdom on radio shows in their neighborhoods, and raising their children to conquer the world. These women don’t want handouts or special favors.

What these women want, what every Wisconsinite wants, are the opportunities to thrive. What would Wisconsin look like if we had access to all of what the world in 2018 offers? Effective broadband and cell service could allow women to work from wherever they choose for themselves and their families. Workplaces that not only paid equal value but offered real parental leave and safe environments. Healthcare would be guaranteed, and women would be trusted to make their own choices.

When I decided to create a business, my mom was my first call. If I could foster the same type of support, energy, and warmth she gave me growing up, I knew I could make it. And over the past few years, when Wisconsin, and our country, seems to no longer hold values I recognize, I think of my mom. And I think of my grandmother. And my aunts. And the community of women who raised me. Wisconsin women are resilient, determined, and powerful. And if we are provided all the opportunities Wisconsin should have, well, there’s no stopping us.

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