InspirationViolet Richardson

“It’s what you do that counts.”

Violet Richardson was the president of the first Soroptimist Club in Alameda County in 1921. Richardson believed in personal responsibility and the motto, “It’s what you do that counts.” She lived her life accordingly, as an active member in her community who was committed to creating opportunities for girls and young women.


According to Ms. Richardson:

I became well-known in the Bay Area for my work in health and physical education. As a result I was asked to join in the formation of a new organization for women in 1921. I met with several professional women in Oakland and after interviewing me they asked me to join them. The organization was all about service, and I was promised that it would become an international organization. This was very important to me.


“Best For Women”

We all met for weeks until there were 80 of us ready to charter the new club. We decided to call ourselves “Soroptimists” – a coined word from two Latin words: “soro” meaning women and “optima” meaning best — thus the phrase “the best for women” was developed.