Issue: September 2005 Issue
Athena Finalist: Barbara J. Daniel
Barbara J. Daniel
President, Women's City Club of Cleveland
Barbara J. Daniel laughs when she quotes her life motto, but sheâ€™s far from kidding. "Iâ€™ve always believed in a quote from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: â€˜Well-behaved women rarely make history.â€™" As her track record shows, Daniel is not afraid to stand up and make a little history herself.
In the fall of 2004, Daniel made an unprecedented career move when she purchased and began editing The Cleveland Womenâ€™s Journal East, a free publication that offers objective educational information to women in Northeast Ohio. Previously in the financial services industry and with little experience in publishing, Daniel felt her move was a continuation of the mission she has been following all her life.
"Itâ€™s a wonderful paper and has a positive impact on the lives of women," Daniel says. "It defines my personal mission. My mission to help other women, to empower women though knowledge."
Daniel has a lifetime of groundbreaking work for women. While living in Columbus during the early â€™70s, Daniel planned to enter law enforcement in forensics. However, when she went to take the civil service exam, she learned the test was only given to women every other year, while men we able to take the test every month. Daniel took her complaint to The Columbus Dispatch, which featured her story on the front page. A class-action lawsuit followed, and five years later Daniel won the suit.
"I did something about it," she says. "You canâ€™t just sit back. You have to stand up for yourself and for other people. If you see a wrong, try and right it."
Today, in addition to her work at her publication, Daniel is the president of the Womenâ€™s City Club, where she mentors and develops the Clubâ€™s members into leaders in business and the community. "Giving back is extremely important," Daniel says.
While busy with all her efforts to help women, Daniel still found time to complete her masterâ€™s degree in English at Cleveland State University in 2004. She didnâ€™t begin college until she was 40 and completed all her courses at night while working full-time during the day.
"Never let anything stand in your way if itâ€™s something you want badly enough," Daniel says.
Whether standing up against what she sees as wrong or making a drastic career move, Daniel has made an impressive history of her own through her devotion to a mission.
"Never believe that you cannot make a change, and donâ€™t be afraid to do it," she says.
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