by Heidi Heitkamp, Former U.S. Senator, Attorney General, and Tax Commissioner for North Dakota; alliantgroup Director of Agriculture.

Women’s History Month has always been an opportunity to celebrate and hold up the accomplishments of women and their contributions to our culture and our society. Throughout the years, trailblazing women from various fields have led the way for change. Even before my days in Congress, I have always been a strong proponent of advocating for women in the agriculture industry, and it has been an immense privilege to continue that work at alliantgroup.

When I was elected to represent my home state of North Dakota in the U.S. Senate in 2012, I was one of less than 40 women to have ever served in the Senate. For its first 130 years, the Senate’s membership was entirely male and this day, only 58 women have served in the Senate since its establishment in 1789. These are staggering numbers, and although we have seen some improvement, there is still a long way to go before our legislative body truly reflects the general public that it represents.

Much like the gender makeup of those in Congress, working in agriculture has shown me the importance of advocating for those who are underrepresented. Today, approximately 36% of all farmers in the U.S. are women. I’m hopeful that in the years to come, we can increase that number even more and create an environment where every young girl looks at the industry as a truly realistic option for their career. Again, one of the many reasons I am so proud to serve on the alliantgroup Strategic Advisory Board is the firm’s dedication to promoting women in leadership.

As a whole, alliantgroup is more than sixty-five percent female, with a number of accomplished women in leadership positions. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of these great individuals, and have been in awe at the firm’s commitment to elevating women to leadership positions where true impact can be realized. I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this chance to point out some of those amazing leaders.

alliantgroup’s Strategic Advisory Board include Former IRS Commissioner of Small Business/Self-employed Division (SB/SE) Kathy Petronchak and Former Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Dawn Levy O’Donnell, who both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team and help to bring our client base a best-in-class service each and every day. The alliantgroup Senior Leadership Team is also made up of exceptional women. The team includes Tracy Lustyan, Kim Allen, Bridgette Brashear, Caroline Lake and Margorie McLenan.

I know these women firsthand and I see day in and day out their dedication to the next generation of female leaders. I am incredibly grateful for every woman who has paved the way for me and every woman who has supported and encouraged my own path. This month is a very important opportunity for Americans to recognize the strength of women and their contribution to our country. Let’s seize that opportunity and continue this arc of progress in 2022!