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Reflecting on Inner Strength on Women's Equality Day

Every day, I’m thankful that I work for a company focused on making a difference in the lives of others, while responsibly growing our business. I’m always especially proud when my work intersects with a personal passion—and I’m passionate about helping strong girls become strong women.

Earlier this year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, our Special K brand took a stance as a leader in the food and nutrition space—an area that has a significant impact on girls’ and women’s sense of self: inner strength. Special K conducted research to learn more about inner strength and identified a strength gap. In March, we announced our commitment to supporting girls and committed to provide nutrition education to 500,000 young women this year through a partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign.

As a global partner, we had the honor last month of joining 350 passionate girl advocates from around the world for the 6th annual Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. For three days these young change-makers participated in leadership training, skills-based workshops, and lobbying our government officials on Capitol Hill. I was fortunate to be asked to participate in the event to talk about the concept of inner strength and how to build it. (Watch here)

Special K did more than just sponsor the event - we gave four girls an opportunity to participate, in person, as part of Kellogg’s Team Strong.   

One of those young women, Gabriela, served as an honorary reporter for Teen Vogue and participated on a panel.  Gabriela is a student at Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland, Florida. She’s a student, a daughter, a friend and an activist—and I truly enjoyed meeting her.

Gabriela is a leader at her school and a strong voice for her peers. She has a passion for running and works hard to promote body positivity among her peers. I was blown away by her maturity and inner strength. It takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to new experiences, new people and share your story. Gabriela spoke openly in front of her peers and other leaders about her personal challenges and how she has used those to inspire herself and motivate others. She certainly inspired me.

On Aug. 26, I encourage all of us to pause and reflect on Women’s Equality Day and celebrate the strong females of all ages in our lives who define inner strength and are making a difference.

Kris Charles, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs