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Show up, show gratitude, and show compassion

I #PressforProgress in many ways. I press for myself, with others, for others. I press for a more enlightened, inclusive culture at Caterpillar. I press for a brighter future for our world. Let me explain.

I show up.

Six months ago I stepped into a new role at Caterpillar. Global responsibilities. Challenging goals. Influence across the corporate matrix. This role is exactly the opportunity I wanted. The opportunity to grow that I needed. And it is a challenge. Some days are doozies. I’m on a steep learning curve and I sometimes stumble on the journey. But each day, I show up. I give it my best and claim a seat at the table. There are some days that I #PressForProgress by just showing up and being present, participating in the conversation, asking questions, approaching the day with grit, driving forward progress. There are some days that my best advocacy for women is simply doing my job.

I show gratitude.

Caterpillar is on a journey to champion women in leadership. As we mature and evolve, I see more and more men boldly advocate for the advancement of women. This is encouraging evidence of progress. In fact, I believe male advocacy is required if we want to see sustainable change in our Caterpillar culture. I celebrate these men. I consistently express my gratitude for their leadership and encourage them to keep on keepin’ on. Let me showcase my gratitude for some of the best:

Mark Teel, a leader who sincerely seeks counsel on how to lead women and millennials.

Dave Lucas, a leader who honesty engages in the diversity dialogue and embraces the difficult questions.

Tony Fassino, a leader who consistently invests his time to coach me through my doubts and calms my stress.

Troy Avery, a leader who helps me reframe the challenge and encourages me to find a path forward.

If you’re interested in learning more about male advocacy for gender equality, I highly recommend this article from Fast Company.  

I show compassion.

International Women’s Day is, well, international. And when we think globally, the need to urgently #PressforProgress becomes clear (if it weren’t already obvious). Of the 114 million young people still lacking basic literacy, nearly two-thirds of them are women

I value the research of Dr. Bruce Wydick, professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, who writes, “I always tell people if you want to do something great in the world, sponsor a girl in sub- Saharan Africa … she's likely to obtain three more years of education, she's far more likely to finish high school and also has a greater chance of finishing university and getting a salaried, white-collar job in adulthood."

While I alone can’t drive inclusion and respect of women across all sectors, I can be a part of the collaborative solution. My husband and I sponsor five girls through Compassion International. Our sponsorship supports their holistic development: educational, social, physical, spiritual. These girls may not become heads of state or international leaders, but they could. And I tell them that! They are bright, creative and full of potential. They have names and they are loved:

  • Alrizene in Brazil
  • Geal in the Dominican Republic
  • Rashimi in Sri Lanka
  • Halima in Tanzania
  • Diana in Peru

If you’d like to learn more about how to sponsor a girl in the developing world here, visit the International Women’s Day page for Compassion International.

To all men and women of Caterpillar, I invite you to join me in my efforts to #PressforProgress. Let’s make a sustainable change that matters. Let’s truly make the world a better place by our leadership and investments.

Jada Hoerr
Aftermarket Connectivity Manager

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