As Women’s History Month comes to a close, the Defender celebrates some visionary women to watch. They are making a difference in Houston and beyond and succeeding in various walks of life. From the boardroom to the courtroom, they see where they want to be in the future and are taking the necessary steps to get there. They inspire others to achieve a common goal and have a knack for developing strong relationships.

They are focused, disciplined, creative, resilient, persistent and positive. They know the importance of family and care about their communities. They make “bold, boss moves” on a regular basis, another reason why they are women of vision.

Sharon Watkins Jones

Education:BA, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin 

Occupation:  Political Director, ACLU of Texas

Motto/Philosophy:The world is run by those who show up. 

What makes her visionary:I am not afraid to reinvent myself whenever I need to, in order to make things happen. My career choices, from elementary school teacher to civil rights activist, have all been an attempt to positively touch the future. 

Bold, boss moves:I have always sought opportunities that are just a tiny stretch beyond what I think I’m capable or qualified for, then work like crazy to live up to the hype. 

All in a day’s work:I currently manage eight employees involved in legislative and campaign work. A typical day could involve strategy sessions, public speaking, writing or meeting with elected officials. 

Balancing it all:Sometimes, I don’t, even though my husband and I have a wonderful partnership. I think women need to be okay with letting some of the stuff we juggle fall to the ground as long as family stays elevated. If I die tomorrow, an employer will replace me with little effort, but my loved ones will miss me. I want them to have wonderful memories of time we shared. 

Words of wisdom:  Be a thermostat, not a thermometer. Don’t reflect the temperature of your environment…regulate it. 

Dream job:I can’t imagine where my dreams will take me next. I remain open and available to whatever is coming. It’s going to be good.