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The Moms on the Move Show
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Leslie Stiles is Executive Director of the PA Commission for women chairing the largest "empowerment" conference in the state.
Leslie: I really don't think I would have this job had I not had breast cancer. This bill is going to make sure that those younger women have coverage if they are not insured. It gives you a phenomenal appreciation for the strength of women, the power of women and the determination of women
Leslie Stiles is using her strength, power and determinations as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission for Women to empower women across Pennsylvania. After a bout with breast cancer, sheís not only taking on the legislature house bill 1606 and that bill is going to cover mammograms for women that are 40 to 49 but sheís taking on the state on all womenís issues by spearheading the Pennsylvania Governorís Conference for Women now in itís 3rd year.
Linda: This is the biggest conference in Philadelphia?
Leslie: Absolutely. This is a conference that has tracks in business education entrepreneurship in health care. Itís a chance to have them exchange ideas, meet, really mentor each other it's a very empowering experience this conference.
With a long list of empowering role models like Madeline Albright, Justice Sandra Day OíConner, and Sarah Jones.
Linda: It really shows that women need to come together for their issues doesn't it?
Leslie: Absolutely and there's a sense of empowerment. Women are 52% of the population of PA we have and awful lot of power and we donít realize it. If you don't like the situation that women earn a good bit less than men on average for doing essentially the same jobs. Thereís a tremendous amount of domestic violence in this state. My message is change it and to change it you have to know you have the power to do that.
And just to prove the power point Leslie managed to have the fountains at the Capitol change color for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Linda: What does your husband think about you having the power to turn fountains pink at the capitol?
Leslie: It probably wouldn't surprise him at all.
Nor would it surprise her 2 children who are all proud of momís mission
Leslie: This is really to heighten the awareness of breast cancer and the fountain mirrors women that are determined and beautiful and brave and the force of the fountain again is very much like the force of these women.
And Leslie has another powerful force beside her engaging women across the state to be involved with the conference.
(In Marjorie "Midge" Rendell's office)
Midge Rendell: In fact when she brought this idea to the Governor and me we said can we do this and she made it happen. You can close your eyes and you're in state college or Philadelphia or Pittsburg and its the same youíve got these energetic women so you know its' like a tag team I go first and make the pitch and she gives the details.
Linda: So what do you guys do to the governor to get him to do things for women you don't want to know that laugh actually.
Midge: He's very unusual like that you give him an idea and show how your going to do it.
Linda: He's really a promoter of women right?
Leslie: He knows about the power of women. I mean both his golden retrievers are women that should tell you something. (Midge laughs)
Midge: And you must know on the side of the bus that we have.
Midge: Is the pink fountain you haven't seen that?
Linda: You've arrived congratulations your on the bus!
Midge: You're on the bus.
On the bus and on the ball, raising the profile of the PA Womenís Commission with initiatives like a role model book for African American and Latino women as well as a tour of famous women in history.
Linda: What is your hope for the conference?
Leslie: You know a woman from Pittsburg told me she left the conference quit her job and open her own business last year. I want women to come here take this day relax have a wonderful time but leave much richer for the experience and your going to do things you've never done, and your going to take chances perhaps you've never taken before.
Linda: Okay so lets go jump in what do you say? Letís go what do you say?
Leslie: For every thing that you give you get back double and triple.