Have you noticed that around the world, women are stepping up and stepping into leaderships roles like never before?
From women in India, to women in African countries, to women in Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA women are hearing the call to take on leadership roles in their own domains and make a real difference in the world. It’s time and the time is now.
In thinking about the exciting changes that are happening globally, I decided to share with you an article today by Amanda Rose that I’ve adapted for our purposes.
Women have been leading since the dawn of time. We know it and men know it. We just haven’t been given credit, and the history books don’t tell our stories. But that’s all changing.
Our issues aren’t hidden anymore
In the past, “women’s issues” were anything from PMS to planning the perfect birthday party. We didn’t talk about postpartum depression or the gender pay gap. Women’s issues were largely defined by the media, politicians and pop culture.
It took a long time, but we’re finally seeing our challenges being discussed at the highest levels.
The United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles are guidelines for businesses to empower women in all facets of our lives. The principles include:
• Corporate leadership that promotes gender equality
• Establishing professional development programs for women
• Measuring and reporting gender equality.
We’ve also made issues like protecting reproductive rights, family leave programs, women in STEM education, and sexual harassment commonplace topics.
We can always do more to advance women’s issues, but we no longer suffer in silence or allow what matters most to women be defined by anyone else. This simple but complex shift has created opportunities for women leaders that we never knew were possible.
We know it’s our time
So many amazing women [over many decades] have worked tirelessly to get us to where we are today. Every day we can see how women have shaped our world and given us the opportunity to make it even better. We’re ready to pursue leadership in ways we never thought possible.
Today, we’re learning the skills needed to make significant changes in every aspect of our lives.
We’ve [thankfully] outgrown the “don’t rock the boat” and “let sleeping dogs lie” mentalities. We’re not satisfied with the status quo and are not content to daydream about a better world. We can feel this is our time.
We’re changing the definition of women leaders
There are many lessons to learn from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Regardless of politics, scandals and outside influence, women needed to learn a very difficult lesson: we have [not know that we’ve] been part of the problem.
In Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World, the Director of Communication for the Clinton campaign Jennifer Palmieri explains how everyone expected Hillary Clinton to do the job as good as a man, not as a woman:
“We have intuited that in this world we are to be obliging, calm under pressure, and diligent, and to always keep our emotions in check. Our adaptive skills have served many of us well.
But we aren’t in a man’s world anymore. Now it’s our world. And shame on us women if we don’t do something to change the way this game is played so that everybody is able to bring their best to the effort.”
Finally, we’re learning we don’t have to lead like a man. We can simply be ourselves and approach leadership in our own way. It takes courage and conviction to redefine what it means to be a female leader. Yet, it’s our responsibility to step back from traditionally male leadership traits and be bold enough to create a new type of leader.
Becoming bold leaders
Regardless of the advances we’ve made, we still have a long way to go before we have true equality. Women [in Australia] still earn just 85.4% of what men make for the same job. It’s outrageous and there is no excuse for paying women less than men for the same work.
[The past decades have shown us] that women have a lot of power when we support each other. Women [are learning] to lead in new and exciting ways. We’re opening our own businesses and creating innovative companies.
We are more engaged in our futures than ever before. And we’re making millions of role models for the next generation of leaders.
From chairing committees to becoming chairperson of the board, there has never been a better time for women to step into leadership roles. We just need to be bold enough to make it happen.
Many of the women with whom I work stumble around self-confidence and self-belief.