Women running for town council help empower the next generation

by Abby Stern, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Abby Weber
Club president, Abby Stern, explains to the club the videos they are about to view. Stern started the Glen Rock chapter of Girl Up this school year. Mrs. Taylor Ingis of the Spanish department is the acting teacher advisor.

Glen Rock council candidates donated their time to help the Girl Up club learn about empowered women running for office.


Candidates Arati Kreibich, Eileen Hillock, and Michelle Torpey gave their thoughts on what it means to be an empowered woman in society and how to inspire others. The women created their own videos answering questions regarding female role models, active leadership in the community, and challenges facing women in society.


The event was hosted by the Glen Rock chapter of Girl Up; an organization through the United Nations that helps to empower young women and girls.The club members viewed the videos and discussed the candidate’s answers.


Hillock gave unique insight on what it was like to be a woman working on Wall Street.


“So I was on Wall Street 20-something years ago, and that was a struggle, being a woman at that time in what was then a man’s business. So I’ve had to develop thick skin. You get used to kind of sticking up for yourself and being a strong woman,” said Hillock. “No matter how strong you are, it’s still a struggle to put yourself out there.”


The students also spoke about their pre-instilled ideas about what a banker looks like or what a businessperson looks like. Many shared that even though they believe women can hold any job they want to, they still have this stereotype of male businessmen, doctors, electricians, plumbers and more.


Other students were raised with working mothers, and have a different take on gender stereotypes.


“Ever since I was really young, my mom has always worked on Wall Street. I’ve always kind of associated women with working on Wall Street because whenever my mom and her friends would come to the house they would all be such strong, independant women,” said junior Rachel Goldberg. “I had no idea it was such a male dominant profession back then. “


Torpey gave input on how there are women all around to be inspired by, and by being supportive of other girls in the school, female students can be empowered.


“My mom and grandmother instilled strong values in me regarding family and ethics that have helped shape me as a person. By educating and exposing them (girls in the school) to women who have achieved success…in business, success in politics or community leadership, or success in healthcare, you can empower your peers.”


Feminism in the high school is represented through Girl Up, and all three women expressed their happiness that the women of the future were being empowered and valued. Kreibich especially accentuated how important it is for young females to support one another, learn about the issues facing women today, and be empowered.


“Be bold, and forge your own path. Even if you’re not sure, even if you’re afraid, even if you have voices in your head saying you can’t do it, be bold. Take that risk. Do something different. Try new things. I really hope that for your generation, (you see) the struggles that women ahead of me have gone through, the fact that we now have more women than ever stepping up for roles in politics, stepping up to be leaders in business, stepping up to be leaders across all sectors,” said Kreibich. “I think that bold leaders are…really what we need to succeed in the coming generations.”