For the past year, our team has been researching, hosting focus groups and looking for industry guidance to develop this initiative. Your feedback was extremely valuable. We heard you. And we are creating something in Fearless to address your needs.

First and foremost, this initiative will be representative and intersectional. We plan to elevate new and diverse women’s voices across a variety of industries, career paths and geographic areas in the state. 


Principal has long been one of the Iowa-based companies at the forefront of advancing women and promoting gender here in Iowa, nationally and now globally. The company’s commitment to inclusive leadership is well documented. Year after year Principal is recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for Women, Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies for Women, and the National Association for Female Executives Top Companies for Executive Women. Because of the company’s track record and commitment from top leadership, we are proud that Principal is championing the Fearless initiative.


As a women-owned and women-led company, our team at Business Publications Corp. and the Business Record know that empowering women isn’t just good for business, it’s personal to each of us.

Connie Wimer

BPC Chairman

I grew up in a very small town in Iowa in the ’40s and ’50s. As a girl evolving into a young woman, that meant that I did not have any female role models. In that era and in that space the expectation was that you would get married, deliver and rear outstanding children, and keep a sparkling clean house. While I had a wonderful childhood, I was not taught that I could do anything I chose to do. If someone had told me then how my life would turn out, I would not have taken them seriously.

Emily Blobaum

Fearless contributing editor

I have been the only woman on a football field and in a press box. In doing so, catcalls and unwanted comments about my appearance were to be expected at just about every game. I have received unsolicited advice – because apparently women don’t know how to use their cameras correctly. One male photographer even tried to set me up on a date with his son. Knowing that there were others out there who were as fed up as I was made all the difference.

Emily Barske

Associate Editor of the Business Record

As a young woman, I have already experienced firsthand many issues related to my gender identity – imposter syndrome, being excluded from conversations as the only woman in the room, being told by a former male supervisor that I would care about my career until I had kids and then I wouldn’t anymore, and many more microaggressions. Yet, I am lucky enough to know that my grandmas’ and mother’s generations faced hardships I’ve never had to. The Fearless initiative excites me because it will shed light on these issues, validate our experiences and connect us in working toward progress.

Chris Conetzkey

publisher & executive editor of the business record

I’ve worked my entire career in a woman-owned business and directly reported to women whose knowledge and passion around these issues has afforded me the opportunity to wrestle with, digest and learn through the news and events we worked together to produce to help women ... and men. What has been imprinted deeply on me is a belief that women’s advancement toward equality is not just an issue for women. Men have a requirement to be allies in the workplace and the home.

Suzanna de Baca

BPC President

As we observe the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in the United States, I am struck by the progress women have made and how much there is still to do. I am proud to be a part of this timely and relevant initiative to help advance a just and equal society where all people can live their best lives – to be more and fear less.

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On Nov. 11 the Business Record’s women-focused newsletter Lift IOWA became ... Fearless. This new multiplatform, statewide initiative is designed to help women and the companies and allies who both value and support them. We invite you to join us on the journey by signing up for our revamped e-newsletter. Sign up today.