Hello SOTGC community,
How has 2013 been for you? It has been a fantastic year at Full Circle Institute!
And it has been a year of positive change for women in leadership, too, with several trends on the upswing, including:
- a significant increase in the volume of women’s voices across the globe
- more women in leadership
- more men expressing a commitment to advancing women in the workplace
- a focus on how women are represented in the media
- more Millennial women expressing their passion for being the change they want to see in the world
Speaking of Millennial women, have you noticed all the articles about these young women being uninterested in seeking leadership positions? Way to be negative, folks!
The reality is that these women see the world differently than previous generations of women. They have been steeped in a culture that has been pretty unsupportive to the advancement of women in this country and globally, while demanding that women do more and be “perfect”. Growing up, their mothers and their mother’s friends were largely overwhelmed and unhappy. Their moms and dads worked 60-80 hour weeks only to get laid off in the financial meltdown.
They are well aware that they face a different economic future than their parents did, and are seriously evaluating what the best paths forward are going to be. I will explore this topic further in future blogs, but in the meantime I will say that there are options for creating a bright future. (Hint: If you don’t actively choose to disrupt the status quo, it remains, well, the status quo.)
Women’s Progress in 2013
Why am I feeling so positive? I am a pro-active, see-the-glass-half-full and rich-with-potential kind of woman!
But it isn’t all in my mind. 2013 has ushered in change that is moving us in a good direction. Look at stand-out examples from Malala Yousafzai to Marissa Mayer as voices for change. There are thousands of women who are standing up for a better and more equal future. We’ll look at some of them more closely in the coming weeks.
Recently, I went to a presentation that I have attended for the past several years. It was the unveiling of this year’s UC Davis study of California Women Business Leaders. And – drum roll please – for the first time in all the nine years of the study, the needle has moved forward. It isn’t a head-long leap into a utopian future – just good, solid movement in the right direction.
Now, I am not a fan of the overly-simplified “how many women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies” metric for judging women’s success. However, I do love seeing this forward movement. As more women get into leadership positions, providing role models for other women interested careers in Corporate America, corporations will shift and morph into environments where more women, and men, can have impact while living rich and fulfilled lives. Those are the companies women will want to lead, and those changes are a measurement of success that I am a HUGE fan of.
Also, check out “The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future” by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio. This is a well-researched study showing that people all over the world prefer feminine leadership characteristics. This isn’t a “battle of-the-sexes,” women-are-better argument. There is simply a groundswell of support for what women do in the world and what they bring to the leadership table.
I have been working with women in the business world for three decades, and in the past 18 months I have seen more positive movement than I have in all of the previous years.
What’s Coming in 2014?
So, what am I looking forward to in 2014?
More shifts in the paradigm of leadership, evolution of the future of work, hearing about how many more women are entering and advancing inside corporations, how many more women are creating solutions to the world’s challenges in economic, technological, scientific, medical, environmental sectors, and how many more women are contributing to the local, national and global economies.
We have been pushing this boulder up the mountain for so very long, and we are about to reach an important summit. We are getting to a tipping point. There are women of all ages, all stages in their lives and all socioeconomic groups, women who are corporate types, non-profit types, and entrepreneurs, all of them are keeping that boulder moving towards the top. Let’s not let it slide back at all. Let’s get it to the top of the mountain so we can celebrate the view and then choose our next peak!