You just saw – on public display, and in the worst possible way –  how women are often treated when they reach a position of power.

Over the past few months, Dr. Amy Acton’s leadership that saved countless Ohio lives was met with harassment online and off. With the exception of stellar allies like Governor Mike Dewine, Acton’s colleagues in the State House did everything in their power to strip her of hers. She was vilified, called the nastiest of names by members of the public, and physically threatened.

In the end Acton made a decision so many women in male-dominated industries are forced to make. And in doing so, took a title demotion. They won this battle and it breaks my heart. At the same time, I completely understand and support her decision. Not one of us should be expected to endure that kind of harassment. It’s a personal choice we all have to make as we pave the way for a better future and one in which this type of behavior is not tolerated.

Paving the way as one of the first women in power in any place, let alone government, often feels impossible and can take the gravest of tolls on us personally and professionally.

To the parents and grandparents reading this letter,  if your kids loved Dr. Amy Action use this as an opportunity to talk about sexism in society and the workplace. We saw both rear their ugly heads during the past few months.

We can do better, Ohio.

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