Women are a powerful force when they join ranks to support one another. That’s a key principle behind the 28 Carrots mission to foster collaboration without competition.
That same spirit – to empower women – is also a key reason why 28 Carrots donates 10 percent of net profits to the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport, MA. Our next event – the InnovateHER Pitch Contest & Cocktail Party – is a key initiative to raise funds for the center’s amazing work.
For over 35 years, the center has provided support services to victims of domestic abuse in addition to running abuse and homicide prevention programs. CEO Suzanne Dubus spoke with the 28 Carrots blog about why it’s so important for women to help fellow women.
Misconceptions about Women in Leadership
Early on her career, Dubus attended a conference at which the keynote speaker shared this story:
A man and woman are walking down the beach collecting crabs and putting them in their respective buckets. The man says, ‘My bucket is full. Let’s head back.’ The woman replies, ‘How is your bucket so full? Mine keep jumping out.’
He replies, ‘I only collect female crabs. Because when one tries to jump out, the rest pull her back in.’
The story – and its message that women pull each other down – outraged Dubus.
“I wasn’t aware of the culture we have as women, and this reputation for not letting each other get too big for their britches,” she said. “It’s a reminder that it’s not the way women behave.”
Women Empowerment & Social Change
Dubus, who started at the crisis center in 1995, had dedicated her life’s work to helping women and children. Over those two decades, Dubus has enjoyed a front-row seat for endless examples that prove the crab story wrong.
“I’m not sure if we could have ever done the work we do at the crisis center without the support of women,” she says. “Any time women show up in true community and true partnership, really big things happen.”
- Women are driven by compassion: Dubus believes It’s no coincidence that most social nonprofits are run by women. “It has to do with out connection to people and to the community,” she explains. “Women are also naturally inspired by relationships. When they build on each other’s ideas, that energy transforms the idea into something real.”
- Women are committed to the next generation: The crisis center is also an affiliate of Girls Inc. National and has its own program called Girls Inc. of the Seacoast Area, that provides programs that inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, also providing girls with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face. “We would never be able to run that program without the support of women,” Dubus says. She engages several women business leaders each year to speak to inspire young girls with their personal stories of starting business careers and overcoming challenges.
- Women are famous multi-taskers – even in giving: As the leader of a nonprofit, Dubus relies a great deal on volunteers, donors and the larger community for support. Even as busy women juggle their own families, work and commitments, they are her most reliable resource. “Somehow women always find a way to stretch a little bit more and find a way to help,” she says. “Women always find the capacity to care, to engage and to invest.”
How You Can Support the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
The crisis center is always looking for volunteers and supporters. Learn how you can help:
- Volunteer: Contact volunteer coordinator Heather Wiles 978-388-1814, ext. 104 or email her at email@example.com. Read more about volunteering for the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center.
- Informational meetings: The center holds Center Spotlights once a month, to spotlight the work they do and tour the Amesbury facility where services are provided to survivors of domestic abuse and their families. Meet Dubus and hear from someone who has benefited from the center’s services. To learn more about Center Spotlights contact Kelly Majewski at 978-465-0999 ext. 14 or to sign up for the May 9th Center spotlight that will take place from 6:00 pm – 7:00pm visit.
- Support: The center’s second annual “Claws for a Cause” will be held June 14 at the SurfSide Deck at Salisbury Beach. Eat lobster while you benefit a worthy cause! Call 978-465-0999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and more information.
InnovateHER: Promoting Businesses that Help Women
Dubus will be one of five inspirational speakers at the May 4 InnovateHER Pitch Contest and Cocktail Party at the Willowdale Estate. This event is all about supporting women and helping those with fantastic ideas make them a reality. Participants in the pitch contest will be presenting on business plans that empower women and families.