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Is gender still a barrier to entry? Here are 20 examples of how women can forge their own path

Yellowhammer Multimedia had the privilege this week to honor 20 incredible Alabamians during our inaugural Women of Impact award reception at the Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa in Birmingham.

Amid a standing room only crowd, the accomplishments of a diverse group of women were celebrated for a simple reason — their stories are worth telling.

We heard from rocket scientists and athletes, artists and attorneys, women who work in the boardroom and in the classroom, and from those who started businesses in their kitchens that eventually rose to dominate their industries. They were from diverse backgrounds and worked in various professions, and while they all took different paths in life the outcome was the same — each has made significant contributions to their families, their industries and their communities.

When they were singled out for recognition, these women expressed deep humility and offered comments of sincere appreciation for the other women on the list. There wasn’t a self-promoter in the bunch.

Friends and family who attended the reception shared many stories about how these women have contributed to the success of others. That underscored what this event was all about — recognizing leaders who are more interested in acknowledging the success of others rather than their own.

To the beautiful women who allowed us to tell their stories — thank you! We are truly grateful for the trails you blazed in your industries and the contributions you have made to our state.

I fully recognized the trailblazers in my industry when I began working. There were only a handful of women within the economic development community who had earned a seat at the table. In witnessing their achievements — and the respect shown to them by their colleagues – I saw that if you’re willing to earn your seat the hard way, it can be done.

This is why it’s important to tell these stories. Several young girls attended the event. My seven-year-old daughter was one of them. I hope and expect that when it’s their turn to take a seat at the table, their gender is the least noticeable of their contributions.

Still, if you think gender remains a barrier to entry, Yellowhammer Multimedia just gave you 20 examples of how that barrier can not only be scaled, but demolished.

And we’ll give you 20 more next year.

@allisonkross11 is the owner and publisher of Yellowhammer Multimedia.