By Jayme Fry | Vice president, commercial relationship manager at Bankers Trust

I wish the title of this submission was an original quote, but I can’t take credit for it. I heard the phrase from Dr. Liang Chee Wee in a recent leadership training program and I immediately connected with its meaning. I am an action-oriented person. I’m growing tired of hearing the same lectures about women "being behind" and the challenges that are stacked against us. Because the truth is, we all have the power to create change.

The new year is here, as is the start of a new decade. If you’ve identified goals but don’t know what resources you have available to reach them, let me help with a little motivation. There have been times I was seeking something that wasn’t made available to me or simply didn’t exist. At those critical moments, I took a chance and decided to be part of the solution. I’d like to share some of my experiences in hopes of empowering you to create the opportunity you’re looking for too.

1. Reciprocity: Creating a networking group

Four years ago, I was rejected from membership in a prominent all-women networking group. After feeling excluded and letting my feelings be hurt from the experience, one of my mentors suggested I start my own breakfast club. When I began thinking about the possibilities of building my own small group of women who inspire each other and could have authentic and transparent conversations together, I was excited to get started. Today, 12 of us in business-to-business fields meet monthly to engage in mutually beneficial discussions about business, networking, community and life. We catch up on what’s new, share successes, talk about areas in which we need help, and consequently, refer each other business.

Looking back, I’m so thankful for that rejection because it made me realize that some things can be made better when you make them your own. There’s a group out there that’s right for everyone; it might just take one person – you – to take the first step in creating it.

2. Advancement: Launching a women’s empowerment network

This past fall, a group of women at Bankers Trust launched a women’s network called EmpowHER, which is open to all employees at the company. While we have had a great company culture for years, a women’s empowerment group was something I thought would be beneficial – both for myself and for my female colleagues. I shared my thoughts, and it turned out that others had been ideating a similar initiative.

We created EmpowHER to help enable women to build a larger internal network they can turn to for encouragement, sponsorship and motivation in defining their career path and taking on new challenges. For sharing ideas and insights, for support in a new life stage, and for connecting young professionals with successful role models and mentors. We’ve been thrilled with the initial response and look forward to watching this group connect women at all levels throughout the bank.

Raising your hand to start a conversation and offering to be a part of the solution (then following through on your promise) is a great way to build trusted relationships and rapport throughout your organization.

3. Wealth building: Forming an investment club

I’ve been interested in starting an investment club for a while. It excites me as a hobby and as a medium to build passive income. I think many women have an interest in this sort of long-term wealth building but don’t know how or where to get started. Women also tend to be more risk-averse, which often stops them from investing themselves. So instead of wading out into uncharted territories alone, I decided to start an investing club. Not only do we benefit from pooling money to invest, and thus compounding larger returns earlier on, we also benefit from a broader knowledge and experience base that we are all learning from.

Maybe investing isn’t your thing, but we all have areas of our lives where we feel stuck or unsure, and it’s these areas where you can invite others to share in the conversation and eventually achieve greater success together.

Overall, my bottom line is this: If you’re looking for an opportunity, don’t leave it to uncertainty or someone else. Instead of feeling like you’re missing out, create the opportunity yourself. It will take time, planning, energy and bravery, but the payoff will be worthwhile.

You can create change by taking action. And that itself is empowering.

Jayme Fry is vice president, commercial relationship manager at Bankers Trust. She is a steering committee member of the Bankers Trust EmpowHER initiative and founder of Thrive Women’s Professional Network. As a mother of three girls, Jayme is passionate about helping women achieve business ownership, succeed in their careers and accomplish their life aspirations.