NEWPORT, AR – In 2019, Arkansas rice farmer Jennifer James was elected to the Board of Directors at Riceland Foods, becoming the first woman in the cooperative’s 98-year history to hold that position. The story of how James became a role model in the ag industry is being showcased in the new #ShesMyHero campaign, a global digital event featuring inspiring stories of 60 women, told in 60 seconds, to empower girls around the world to find the one hero that inspires them.
The campaign launches this Sunday, October 11, in celebration of the International Day of the Girl, and is the brainchild of the World Woman Foundation, a U.S.-based public charity that believes in the power of role models to help inspire, motivate, and influence girls from around the world to overcome gender gaps in leadership and, through mentorship, attain greater success.
"The goal of each minute is for women to tell their personal stories that include wisdom, advice, confidence boosters, real-life learning, and lessons about…their experiences [that] will make a difference for the younger generation," said Rupa Dash, CEO of World Woman Foundation.
James acknowledges the effect mentoring can have. “Being on the board of Riceland Foods was always a goal in the back of my mind,” said James. “And then a few years ago, I attended a women’s leadership conference and heard one of the speakers suggest taking note of the board of directors in whatever industry we worked in. She said if we didn’t see anyone who looked like us, then it was our job to fill that seat. Her words really struck a chord in me.”
That little push was all the incentive James needed to become the leader she is today. “Well, that plus a lot of education, hard work, personal development, many failures, and lots of listening!” said James. “And now it’s time for me to be the role model who gives that push to young women and encourages them to follow their hearts and ambition.”
The #ShesMyHero event premieres on Facebook LIVE and on the World Woman Foundation YouTube page starting this Sunday, at 4 p.m. EST. Go here
for more information on the digital series, and follow World Woman Hour on Instagram
, and Facebook
Be sure to share this with all the sisters, daughters, and granddaughters in your life, and have them acknowledge their hero using the #ShesMyHero hashtag.