With this being Women’s History Month, it’s fitting that studies show women as more inclined to practice ethical business decisions. Perhaps an inherent tendency to nurture explains why women are guided by ethics, making it more of a challenge for us to be duplicitous. Regardless of the reasons why, everyday, there are women who take a stand for what they believe is right. They risk their peace of mind, reputations and sometimes their lives in the name of ethics.
Here are some women who deserve recognition for their ethical efforts:
Women Guided by Ethics: Melissa Harris-Perry
This prolific author, professor, speaker and former host of her eponymous MSNBC show earned a reputation for providing informative, shrewd and thought provoking commentary. Harris-Perry has been getting us into formation for a while now, by deftly highlighting issues that affect people of color such as racism and disenfranchisement.
Now that she has parted ways with MSNBC, her groundbreaking #Nerdland will have to stake its claim elsewhere. Last month, Harris-Perry put MSNBC on notice about the preempting of her show, for what the network tried to explain as prioritization of election coverage. Harris-Perry did not mince words when she called out MSNBC for attempting to censor her show’s content. She refused to compromise the integrity of what she and her team built. And although they offered to pay her a nice sum—as long as she agreed to no longer speak about them publicly—Harris-Perry did not fall prey to the capitalistic con. It will be interesting and refreshing to see what MHP does next.
Women Guided by Ethics: Judge Vonda Evans
Judge Vonda Evans of the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, serves the citizens with matchless integrity. For nearly
twenty years, she has presided over many of the city’s most egregious criminal cases; showing compassion to the victims while giving the suspects constitutional due process. Known for her astute and feisty nature, Evans has garnered national attention. Last year, she was featured on the syndicated newsmagazine, “Inside Edition.” Recently, a video went viral of her earnest sentencing of a white police officer convicted of brutally beating a black man. Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that she is a remarkable force, coining her as “Detroit’s Judge Judy.”
Outside of the courtroom, Judge Evans co-hosts a weekly radio talk show on Detroit’s 910AM, covering local events and happenings around the city. Recognizing that her role is one of dedicated service to others and greater than just meting out prison terms, Judge Evans has stated, “The life you live is measured by the life you give.”
Women Guided by Ethics: Serena Williams
Arguably the greatest female tennis player ever, Serena Williams is simply amazing. She exudes beauty, strength, determination and courage. In addition to reigning supreme on the tennis court, Serena has flexed her acting skills on TV, has a
clothing label, has built schools in Kenya and Jamaica, oh, and we’ll never forget how she rocked the hell out of that Sports Illustrated cover. She awes us with her fierce style of play and her bold sense of fashion.
Despite occasional disrespect from the media and her rivals, Serena continues to rise like a phoenix. Recently, she showed maturity with her diplomatic response to fellow tennis player, Maria Sharapova, admission to banned drug use. When reporters prompted Serena to share her in-depth take on the situation, she didn’t use that platform to inflate her ego; she replied with honesty and humility,
I think she’s always shown courage and heart in everything she’s done, and this is no different.
Keep serving us your Black Girl Magic, Serena!
Women Guided by Ethics: Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai has been a passionate advocate for education since her early childhood in Pakistan.
In 2011, she received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Mimicking her father’s indomitable courage, Yousafzai maintained her efforts, despite death threats from the Taliban.
In 2012, while she was on her way home from school, The Taliban shot Yousafzai, attempting to murder her. She was shot with a single bullet which went through her head, neck and shoulder. Malala survived the attack and along with her father, founded the Malala fund which brings awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and empowers girls to raise their voices, unlock their potential, and demand change.
In 2014, at the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She contributed her $1.1 million prize money to financing the creation of a secondary school for girls in Pakistan. Malala is a prime example of how faith always outlasts fear. Her incredible story is featured in the 2015 film, He Named Me Malala.
We’re always happy to hear inspirational stories of women guided by ethics, despite being able to take a different route. Tell us who’s inspired you by their ethics below!