At the 2019 Emmy Awards a few weeks back, there was a powerful moment when award-winning actress Alex Borstein dedicated her win to the strength of women and told the story of her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor.
“My grandmother turned to a guard. She was in line to be shot into a pit and she said, ‘What happens if I step out of line,’ and he said, ‘I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will,’ and she stepped out of line, and for that I am here, and my children are here, so step out of line, ladies. Step out of line.”
There was incredible strength in that story. Her grandmother knew the answer to the question, ‘What happens if I stay in line?’ The question of ‘What happens if I step out of line’ brought apprehension, but it also brought hope. Her determination brought the opportunity to forge a new path, whatever the consequences.
Stepping out of line
At some point in our lives, we find ourselves on a line we don’t want to be on, though the stakes are rarely as high as they were in Alex’s story. Maybe we chased the unfulfilled dreams of family members rather than our own. Perhaps we followed in the footsteps of friends because it was a comfortable path. Or we lost our way and are unsure how to return to the road we were originally on.
Stepping out of line can be frightening; however, so is staying in a line that aims to defeat you instead of elevate you. Are you taking advantage of opportunities to step out of line, either collectively with other women or singularly? What will happen if you step out of line? What happens if you don’t?
You're not alone
It’s important to know you’re not alone. If you’re a member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST, you know you’re a member of a strong group of women creating opportunities to enhance and advance each other. The TRUST and other groups like us are determined to elevate other women throughout their leadership journeys and to help women step out of line to confidently forge their new paths. We believe passionately in this mission and are joining with TeamWomen and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women’s Leadership Council to share our commitment to embolden women as influential forces for change and for each other. We hope you will join us October 29 at the TRUST Annual Meeting for this engaging discussion.
There is strength in numbers and determined women are a powerful force. Imagine what we can accomplish if we all step out of line and challenge the status quo.
Monica Engel currently serves as TRUST President, Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and board member for MN Council of Health Plans. Engel holds a degree in business management and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a 2019 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business Honoree and in 2017 received the “Women of Excellence” award from the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.