This Delaware author empowers women through her writing
Photo by Joe Del Tufo / Moonloop Photography
Delaware author Theresa Del Tufo encourages women to seize leadership opportunities and find their voice in her new book, Women in power!
When it comes to living as an independent woman, Theresa del Tufo does more than talk. Del Tufo, co-author of Women in power! A new paradigm of influence and equity, immigrated from the Philippines to the United States at the age of 23 with her husband, who tragically died shortly thereafter. She raised two boys on her own while earning her doctorate and working as deputy director of the Ministry of Labor. After retiring from government, she didn’t just rest on her laurels. Instead, del Tufo started a consulting business, teaching people of all ages and genders how to be their best at work.
While training women, del Tufo “noticed that there is such a difficult and polarizing relationship between women and power,” she says. âI thought, maybe I need to do something about it. I used to protest with the women’s movement in the late 1970s. But now that I’m older, I don’t have the stamina anymore.
Del Tufo decided to use his writing skills to pass on the wisdom gained through decades of activism and advocacy. âWhen I wrote this book, my intention was to do something deliberate, intentional and systematic,â she recalls, âbecause my feeling is that women are not able to exercise power because we cannot not know how to do it systematically. . “
This system took the form of a visually illustrated frame. The book’s power paradigm resembles a wheel with values ââand personal traits, including self-knowledge and lifelong learning, at the center. The spokes of the wheel focus on eight core skills: leadership and management, communication, relationship skills, emotional intelligence, problem solving and decision making, financial literacy, political acumen and subject matter expertise.
To develop the framework, del Tufo and his co-author George Banez organized focus groups and interviewed several women leaders. She was pleasantly surprised by her conversations with millennial women. âEvery step of the way, people were questioning my abilities. My female comrades went through the same thing, âremembers Del Tufo. âBut the millennials in my focus groups seem very comfortable with empowering and using it. It’s an integral part of who they are.
For del Tufo, this is a sign that the efforts of her generation have succeeded in advancing gender equality. âMy whole life in this country has been devoted to improving the condition of women,â she says. “This book [is] the climax of [that] job.”
Del Tufo dreams that Women in power! inspire women to cultivate a leadership style and voice of their own. âWe all have this gift,â she said. âWe just need to believe in ourselves. “