We sat down with GED Board Members Phyllis Kelley and Kellie Blair Hardt to discuss the contributions that women have made to education and GED Testing Service.

Before acknowledging the current wave of women making waves in education, we need to celebrate the ones that paved the way. People like Malala Yousafzai, Patsy Mink, and Ramona Edelin took part in education reform and helping advance learners in marginalized and underrepresented communities.

Just like them, we have a team at GED Testing Service that works every day to change the lives of our learners. There is a connection and network within the women of GED. They are very supportive of each other particularly when it comes to concerns and expectations.

“There is a sisterhood to see what needs to be done without fear,” said GED Board Member Kellie Blair Hardt. “In other organizations where that sisterhood might not be there, our voice could be seen as aggressive or assertive.”

All the board members have a passion and commitment to advance our learners. The perspectives and opinions from everyone are respected and appreciated.

“When you enter a room, you know the people sitting next to you are fellow human beings,” said GED Board Member Phyllis Kelley. “At the most basic level, we all want to be successful in helping others be successful.”

The GED is accessible to many people that are not able to complete their secondary education because of barriers. The GED is a great equalizer. When someone earns their GED credential, they are one step closer to their goals.

“You can’t have equality without effort,” said Hardt.

Not treating learners or educators differently based on their identity, disability, or race has always been there. She continues to say she is excited about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives recognized by the board. We see that in disability accommodations and being able to take the test in Spanish.

To reach equal pay and opportunities, we need to expose our learners to all career fields. “We need to make sure there is more exposure to STEM careers for women,” said Kelley.

There are opportunities in STEM for women of color like Black Girls Code and Women in Technology. “We need to help dissipate this misconception that women can’t be in spaces in math, engineering, or technology,” said Hardt.