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Women celebrate level playing field

OCEANSIDE — A troop of 20 accomplished women spoke at the Title IX 40th anniversary celebration held at the Pier Amphitheater on June 23. 

The Title IX Education Amendment helps even the playing field for women by giving women equal access to education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The passage of Title IX 40 years ago has made it possible for scores of women to pursue advanced degrees and compete in college level sports.

“Title IX changed so many lives,” Kathy Kinane, event organizer, said. “It should be a national holiday.” Kinane is executive director of Kinane Events and founder of the Oceanside Turkey Trot, both event sponsor organizations.

The passage of Title IX by the U.S. Congress in 1972 did not come easily.

“It took a 25-year effort and continues to be constantly contested,” Kinane said. “The event is thanking pioneers of the ‘60s and ‘70s who led the way to fight for opportunities.”

Kinane added that everyone benefits when women are encouraged to pursue their goals.

Event speaker Amanda Benedict is an alumna of Torrey Pines High School and was the first female in Southern California to play on a men’s high school football team.

Her can-do attitude led her to pursue a law degree. She now works as an associate attorney for Klinedinst, PC in San Diego.

Speaker Sally Grigoriev is a Rancho Bernardo resident and senior vice president of operations for three medical device corporations.

She was a chemical engineering major and track star at UC Santa Barbara before she began her career.

“I think many girls today don’t know what Title IX is and what it was like for us back then,” Grigoriev said. “I remember going to the sporting goods store to buy track shoes and learning that they didn’t carry women’s track and running shoes. There weren’t even athletic shoes made for girls. We had to buy boys shoes.”

Grigoriev applied the same drive and determination she used on the track to pursue her career goals.

“To survive I was determined to be tougher than the men,” she said. “I had to do my job 10 times better than any guy in order to get ahead. I think competing in sports at the college level really helps you prepare for the workplace and for real-life challenges.”

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