News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Three Bermudian women admit to feeling “empowered” and “proud” as their stories are featured in the 7th Edition of ‘Voices of the 21st Century Women:  Empowered Through Passion and Purpose’ book, a collection of stories produced by the Women Speakers Association, out internationally today (Tuesday, February 6th).

Margaret Swift Thompson, a Bermudian Family Recovery Coach, currently living in North Carolina; Andrea Tompkins, an Integral Master Coach and Recovery Speaker; and Lorene Phillips, an Executive Development Coach and Corporate Consultant, have all shared their words and experiences in the book, with the aim of inspiring and encouraging others. 

Lorene Phillips

“We are thrilled to be featured together in this book alongside other women from around the world,” said Mrs Phillips, founder of Clarendon Wallace, an executive coaching firm in Bermuda. “Although we are part of a small community at home, through this book we are now a part of a larger global community. It’s amazing to see how each of us have a story that is unique and which connects our humanness to each other despite what appears to be our differences. I believe we are always learning and appreciate how making the time to glean from others’ experience can provide much needed wisdom for living.” 

Mrs Phillips’ chapter entitled ‘Taking Risks: Unleashing Resilience and Growth (on page 117) looks at the one thing that has set her apart from others: her courage to take risks and to start over.  Through her story, she hopes to inspire others to live a life of adventure and being willing to make strategic jumps. 

MORE ON WOMEN SPEAKERS ASSOCIATION 

Women Speakers Association, the facilitator and publisher of the book, is a body known as the first-ever global gathering place for women speakers, authors and experts to support, mastermind and mentor one another. Since 2011, the organization has been “the go-to place” for innovative leaders, change agents and women with a message to connect, collaborate and grow their visibility in the world. According to the website, WSA is currently in 120 countries and boasts an online presence that reaches into the millions.

For context, a previous edition of the book, ‘Voices of the 21st Century: Bold, Brave and Brilliant Women Who Make A Difference’, became a best-seller in three online book categories, just a few hours after the official launch on September 10, 2019. That version of the book included 50 authors who shared their heartfelt stories on how to move ahead courageously in both life and careers. 

Andrea Tompkins

INSPIRING OTHER WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR MESSAGE 

Local coach Andrea Tompkins’ chapter entitled, “Let It Begin With Me” (on page 169), shares intimate parts of her quest for passion and purpose fueled by self empowerment, love and the light from within. After contributing to the book last year, Mrs Tompkins said she found the courage to be a little more personal and intimate with her contribution in the 2024 book. “It was after experiencing the warm embrace from the community with the chapter in the 2023 edition of ‘Voices of the 21st Century: Women Transforming the World’ that going deeper and revealing more seemed like a natural next step. I made that conscious decision to share my story based on faith and trust in knowing that when I decided to join this book and write another chapter that it would reach exactly who needs to hear it.” 

She said the writing of the chapters has been very catharticand transformational. She hopes Bermudian women seeing their contributions to this anthology will be inspired to also bebold in sharing their message. “We are all different, yet the same – and it is an important message for women and the younger generation to hear,” Mrs Tompkins said. “I have two young daughters and it’s imperative for them to know that every woman’s voice is valuable and that we all have something to share that someone needs to hear.”

“The global reach is another exciting element in coming together with authors from around the world,” she continued.“The Women’s Speakers’ Association is a well oiled machine that holds your hand every step of the way through writing and publishing. I always wanted to write a book and thought it a daunting task, but to start with being a contributing author is an honour and privilege.” 

Margaret Swift Thompson

CHANGING THE CULTURE OF SECRECY AND SHAME 

Similarly Margaret Swift Thompson admits she felt “strong and brave” in sharing her story – and is grateful for the kind and supportive responses from people who have read her chapter thus far. Entitled ‘I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know’ (page 165), Mrs Thompson shares about the kind of life lessons you don’t always want to learn. “This story offers hope and inspiration to those seeking healing and personal recovery through gaining self-acceptance and honoring our enduring capacity for growth,” she explained. “Stories left in the shadows keep us isolated, but by sharing our voices we see that we are more alike than different in our human experiences.” 

Mrs Thompson said growing up in Bermuda, she often feared sharing her truth. “There were not many examples of people openly sharing recovery stories, whether from trauma, abuse, or addiction. I believe secrets keep us sick, so I want to feel healthier and want others to know that sharing their truth is empowering.” 

She continued: “I find it outstanding that three Bermudian women have chosen to share their authenticity through their stories. I believe this is a step towards changing the culture of secrecy and shame that can exist. There is a power in connection, whether through hearing or sharing our stories; and hope other women will be inspired to share their voices/stories. This book offers a sense of how small the world is and that though we may look different and have different experiences, our humanity has a clear overlap.” 

The 7th Edition of ‘Voices of the 21st Century Women Empowered Through Passion and Purpose’’ is out today (February 6th) and available on Amazon.com. A book signing will be held in early April featuring the three local authors at Brown &Co. For more information, visit: www.voicesofthe21stcenturybook.com.