CSW Spotlight - Becky Abens

The Commission on the Status of women (CSW) Spotlight took a temporary break last year in the event of various transitions for Commission members. We are starting 2019 with a feature of long-time Commissioner Becky Abens who has been on the Commission since 2011. Take a moment to learn about an amazing person who has not only perservered through challenges but has provided so much to our community.


Place of Birth:  Elmhurst, IL
Raised:  Houston, TX
Professional Background: I've worked around the law, although I'm not an attorney. I started my career at the district attorney's office, worked as a trial consultant, and now compliance.
Position most known for?  Compliance & ethics training

Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now:  Counselor at an eating disorder treatment center
Field:  Healthcare compliance and corporate ethics
Years of Experience:  15
Significant Challenge:  Changing industries and learning to apply my experience to new situations.
Significant Accomplishment:  Being recognized as a partner and advocate rather than an adversary.
Significant Learning: Learning that it's okay not to be an expert at everything all the time. Always operate with integrity.
Career Advice:  Find the values and aspects that drive your best work and find ways to apply them to your work as often as you can.


Significant Challenge:  Cancer diagnosis and my pursuit of treatment outside the normal "standard of care".
Significant Accomplishment: Moving from Houston to the Bay Area (I didn't know anyone here). My commitment to personal growth, healing, and learning.
Significant Learning:  How to be empathetic without being overwhelmed.
Life Advice:  Persist. No one job or relationship can meet all your needs. Build a net(work) that supports your best life and builds you up. Practice gratitude.
What is an issue for women/girls that stands out most for you?  Trauma recovery and healing.
Other causes you support? Longtime volunteer and supporter of Court Appointed Child Advocates (CASA), gun safety, AIDS advocacy, and human trafficking.
Most admired people/role models (excluding parents):  Maya Angelou, Rose Kennedy, Oprah, the Obamas, Parkland student activists.

Favorite activities in your “personal downtime:”  Spending time with family and friends, movies, knitting, and cooking (which happens too rarely).
Favorite shows, movies, or books:  Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Places In the Heart (I cry EVERY time I watch it), Becoming by Michelle Obama (reading it now!).
Something about me that may surprise you:  I'm an introvert.

  • Her mom's birthday!

  • Becky's Babies: Lexie, a German Shepherd Saint Bernard mix, and Millie, a Terrier Rottweiler mix.

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