(WKBW) Women and girls in Erie County are making great strides, thanks to November's Women in Leadership honoree.
Eyewitness News is partnering with the Buffalo - Niagara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners on these monthly reports.
Sawrie Becker is changing lives for the better, and that's why she was chosen to be part of our Women in Leadership series.
It's Sawrie Becker's job to make sure the girls and women in Erie County are reaching their full potential. She heads up the county's Office of Public Advocacy and the Commission on the Status of Women.
Breaking the culture barrier is tough, but through events that educate and empower women, Becker helps women and girls learn their worth, gaining the confidence to succeed.
"Fear is huge," says Becker. "Fear of making a mistake, fear of the unknown, of not being good enough."
Parity is a one of the biggest issues. Women's pay levels are not on par to men's, few are in higher paying fields, like science and technology, and there are still not enough women in boardrooms and in government.
But Becker says her first priority is making sure women and girls in Erie County are safe. Her office held a bike-a-thon this fall to raise awareness of domestic violence, and it has sponsored several anti-bullying efforts.
The ultimate goal would be to have her position no longer necessary, but in the meantime, she focuses on improving the lives of girls and women, believing that all women can make a difference.
Becker says," We can help each other. Pull each other up."