Building Up Women's Rights in New York

By Matt Porter

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 11:36 PM EST

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Fitness trainer Kelsey Newman's no stranger to hard work at her gym Positive Life Force in Endwell.

She's also among the country's growing workforce of women business owners.

She said she's encountered the difficulties of being a woman in the business world.

"We want to have a career but we also are supposedly the main caregiver," said Newman, "But I think women are standing up to that and saying, we can do it all."

Newman said it hasn't always been easy for her in the male-dominated world of personal fitness.

"It can be a challenge at times," she said, "Sometimes we are not taken as seriously as men, but I've found as you get established, you get a lot more respect."

Now, Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to do more for New York's women.

He issued a ten-point plan to level the playing field for women in and out of the work place.

Cuomo outline including eliminating the wage gap for women and men, eliminating gender discrimination in the workplace, and re-affirming women's rights to total reproductive health care including abortion.

Leigh Ann Wheeler, a Binghamton University professor who's written books on the women's movement, said the move could be a game changer.

"Just the fact that they're talking that way makes people listen and think about it in new ways," said Wheeler.

She said more progressive laws and women leaders like Newman and her gym can encourage the next generation.

"It's easier for girls to imagine themselves being leaders," Wheeler said, "When they see other women doing so."

As a physical trainer, Newman doesn't know the word quit.

She said she has strong words for the next generation of women.

"Don't let anyone tell you, you can't do anything," she said, "Because you can do anything you want to do, you just have to have the courage to go after it."

Newman has four other trainers on staff, three of whom are women.