US Weekly Editor-In-Chief speaks to EMPOWER

Sophia Musante

The EMPOWER club invited journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of US Weekly Janice Min (Will Sheehy ’22, Tate Sheehy ’24) to speak about her experiences in a historically male-dominated field March 23.

Club presidents Olivia Smith ’21 and Maddie Boudov ’21 organized the event, which took place during National Women’s History Month.

“When we heard [Min] was a Harvard-Westlake mom, we were so excited,” Smith said. “In EMPOWER, we love highlighting women in male-dominated industries. Earlier in the year, we heard from Yahlin Chang, one of the writers of [the television series] The Handmaid’s Tale, and her insight was incredibly impactful for our club. We hope to gain insight into Janice’s life and career as a woman of color in journalism.”

Throughout the month of March, the EMPOWER club honored women’s history.

EMPOWER also plans to hold discussions concerning sexual harassment and continue their Woman of the Week program, in which they spotlight one woman weekly on their Instagram, this March.

“For the rest of this month, we are planning on having our women of the week be influential historical figures, especially those who have been systematically erased from history,” Smith said. “Our goal is to highlight women who have impacted society but been silenced and under-appreciated because of the patriarchy.”

Although none of these events were planned in regard to Women’s History Month, Boudov said she still believes the month should be celebrated for its pivotal role in gaining recognition for women’s issues.

“We aren’t doing anything specifically to celebrate Women’s History Month because we like to celebrate women and women’s history every month,” Boudov said. “[That being said], I think [Women’s History Month] is important because women have so frequently been written out of history. In most classes, [often] at the end of the unit [we have] the one token day where we learn about what women were doing during that period, and that is not enough.”

EMPOWER members said they hope to inspire others to recognize and honor women.

Echoing Boudov’s sentiment, club member Leila Pagal ’22 said she hopes this year’s Women’s History Month will both inspire women and prompt those who are uninformed about women’s issues and history to learn more.

“I hope that people can look back on women throughout history and see some of the amazing things women have accomplished, but also take note of the oppression and inequality women have suffered and realize that some of these injustices continue today,” Pagal said. “It is important that we bring attention to these problems so women can achieve basic rights like equal pay, control of their own bodies and equal access to employment.”

Cub member Zoe Shin ’23 said EMPOWER has been a great avenue for her to continue the work of Women’s History Month every day.

“EMPOWER has served to be a great and supportive community for me; in the midst of a tumultuous and concerning year for women’s rights , EMPOWER and its members have consistently [provided] a safe space to talk,” Shin said. “Having a club like EMPOWER is important because I believe that in a world in which women are still not given equal rights and opportunities, it is essential that there are clubs and communities in which girls can support one another and help each other to fight for change.”