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As I sit down to write to you this month, we are celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8. This day focuses on celebrating women’s achievements across the globe. This year’s theme is Balance for Better, discussing the need for a more gender-balanced world.

Here in the Bayou Region, it’s not uncommon to see women working alongside men and in positions of power and ownership within their own companies in industries such as the oilfield, real estate and health care.

In this month’s edition, we sit down with four women in very different industries to talk about what it’s like to sit in a position of power at the table.

Dawn Becker has been in a management role at Southland Mall for 20 of the mall’s 50 years. Currently the general manager, Dawn shares what her day to day looks like in the area’s largest shopping center.

Dr. Kristine Strickland has always believed in furthering yourself through education. As Chancellor of Fletcher Technical Community College, she helps to pave the way for students to earn their education.

While the business bears her beloved father’s name, Wendy Picou is the worker bee behind Mr. Ronnie’s Hot Donuts. One of the co-owners along with her siblings, Wendy is happy to share her take on the donut business.

Shawn Bourgeois finds herself in the heavily male-dominated field of oil and gas. Serving as the Quality Manager at B&B Rentals and Manufacturing, Shawn faces challenges head-on and believes in continually improving, whether it’s your business or in life in general.

The number of Louisiana women-owned businesses has doubled over the past 20 years according to reports from American Express. Roughly 144,600 Louisiana businesses are owned by women. I think we are headed in the right direction for women achieving more in the business world.

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