by Nancy Rogers
president of the Lincoln Financial Foundation and senior vice president of corporate responsibility and sustainability

Toasting to Tenacity – Reflecting on a meaningful celebration of women’s suffrage and all it represents

28 September 2020

Late last month we celebrated the day the 19th Amendment officially became law in 1920, August 26, recognized nationwide as Women’s Equality Day. To celebrate the centennial of this critical legislation, at Lincoln Financial we were proud to partner with Women 100, a nonpartisan women’s equality coalition, to sponsor a “Toast To Tenacity.” The event was a virtual celebration in honor of the suffragists whose tenacious efforts resulted in voting rights for American women. While we celebrated this important moment in our history, we also acknowledged and discussed that the fight for the ability to vote continued for women of color for many years to follow 1920.

Throughout the month, our employees shared their stories of the importance of this milestone to their lives, and inspired me to reflect on my own experiences and wanted to share a sweet memory of my own.

It was April 22, 2008 – primary election day in Pennsylvania.  My 83-year-old mother, suffering from COPD and tethered to an oxygen hose 24/7, called me at work to tell me she was dressed and ready for me to drive her to the polls.  She was waiting by the door – full hair and makeup – when I got there, her portable oxygen machine fully charged, in case the line was long. Regina (Jean) Walker never thought she’d live to see the day that she could vote for a woman for president. It turned out to be a good day for Jean and for her candidate – and one of the most memorable voting experiences of my life.  That night, we toasted the historic event with two glasses of her favorite white zinfandel.

In honor of the tenacious suffragists, the courageous sisters, the determined mothers, the deserving daughters – we remember, we celebrate, we vote!     

Value the privilege. Accept the responsibility. VOTE!          

This milestone holds great importance to me personally, and professionally. I’m proud to work for an organization where we recognize the accomplishments of amazing women daily. Our culture of diversity and inclusion earned Lincoln recognition as Forbes America’s Best Employers for Women for the third year in a row earlier this year. We take great pride in the growth and success of our female colleagues – and indeed all our colleagues, as we strive to empower and engage our people through a culture of diversity and inclusion, learning and collaboration. I am thankful every day to be a part of this extraordinary culture.